For second-generation fisher Bruce Collis, fishing was an expected choice, as, like many fishers, he inherited his skills and good fishing practices from his father. A well-regarded fisher with over 20 years of experience, he exercises the unique and sustainable fishing techniques developed and shared by all Corner Inlet fishers today. It is in many ways thanks to Bruce and his efforts to connect himself to Australia’s food industry, that Corner Inlet has become so well known for its high standards of sustainability and quality seafood.
The fish at Corner Inlet are caught using net methods, carefully managed by the region’s fishers to ensure better fish quality and reduce environmental impact. The ringing seine method keeps fish in the water in a low-stress environment until the point of capture. Fish are hand-dipped or harvested from nets, measured and transferred immediately to an ice slurry. This ensures rapid cooling, increasing its shelf life by reducing the release of stress chemicals and slowing the onset of rigour mortis. This care ultimately improves the quality of the product but also ensures only target species are harvested and the best sold to restaurants and consumers.
When his third boat is in the water, Bruce will be targeting common Southern Inshore species, but also specifically the in-demand Rock Flathead. In addition, Bruce also manages a team of divers targeting the Commercial Scallop (Pecten Fumatus) from a tightly managed fishery in Port Phillip Bay, the only hand-dived scallops currently widely available in Australia. Our diver Grant Jordan, works alongside Bruce to target the Commercial Scallop. This method of harvesting is the gold standard for quality and sustainability, ensuring no damage to marine environments, with only target species being hand-collected. This is a stark contrast to all other Australian scallop fishing, which rely heavily on damaging methods of dredging and raking which cause significant damage to the seafloor.
Bruce’s passion for his fisheries has resulted in his produce reaching key restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne and winning the Delicious produce awards twice in a row for his seasonal wild-caught fish and sustainable fishing practices.
Image courtesy: delicious.