producer: Paul Polacco

Australia > South Australia > Kangaroo Island

Paul’s love for the ocean started at a young age. A second-generation diver, Paul treasures memories of himself and his dad spearfishing together since he was 4 years old. He has been diving for Queen scallops off Kangaroo Island for over 12 years, where he lives with his wife Lucy, the business’ accountant. Growing up in Adelaide and frequently going to Kangaroo Island since he was a kid, he has extensive knowledge of the area and the best fishing spots. The license to harvest Queen scallops is extremely limited, and Paul is one of the three people who hold it in all of Australia. “The silence and tranquility of being in the water are what I love the most about my job”, says Paul. Diving 6-7 hours every day also brought him some astonishing experiences such as close encounters with over 20 Great White Sharks throughout his career. Paul jokes that while the first Great White experience was pretty awe-inspiring, he now just chases them away!

Simplicity and respect for Mother Nature and the environment are key in Paul’s work, as he firmly believes in a sustainable fishing industry. He hand-picks and carefully selects legal-sized scallops, ending the season when they start to spawn to make sure to leave what needs to mature. This differs from commercial scallop fishing, which is by dredging, an inherently high-impact fishing method as it rakes the seabed, affecting the sea habitat. “Everyone in the fishing industry needs to look after the product and the environment, otherwise fisheries will collapse”, says Paul. Positively, he mentions he has seen increased conscientious fishing practices since he started. Right after fishing, Paul starts to pack the product to ensure it’s ready for chefs the morning after, as he’s always been committed to giving his clients the freshest, highest quality, and most exquisite scallops.


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