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THE TRAWLERS, |
Despite tho accumulated losses of £300,000 suffered by tho Stale trawling industry, private enterprise during the past seven or eight months has estab- lished the industry on a profitable and flourishing footing.
A representative of the original trawling syndicate that purchased the Koraaga said yesterday: "Wa started with everything against us. State administration had muddled overy path we wanted to take. We were told that people would not eat trawled fish. We wore told that trawled fish could not be landed fresh. We were told we should not make our running expenses. To-day we are doing everything that the State industry at- tempted, and aro making it pay. Wo have put tho trawling industry firmly on its feet. We started off with no better equipment than the State, and with handicaps Imposed on us by the State., But throughout we had the advantages of business administration and of cleanliness. As for the profits to bo made, take our own case. Our prouts have long since repaid us the cost of our trawler. We have Just floated ourselves into a company, with a capital of £20,000. We are looking round now in Scotland for a second trawler. We havo only begun to show the possibilities of the industry. There aro further big de- velopments to como."
Last July a syndicate bought the trawler Kornaga, the largest of the State'B fleet, manned her with a trawler-trained crew, and sent her out on a cruise. From the start they had no fear for the failure of fishing grounds. This o.ptimlsm was shared by the respective owners of the Goonambee, Gooran gal, and Durronbee, which waa also purchased from the State, soon afterwards joined the Koranga In competition for the publia custom. One trawler Is stated by its owners to have brought in 13,000 boxes of flathead in the past seven months.
Tho Koraaga's rocent haul of 800 boxes Is claimed as a record for Australian waterB.
Arrangements were -made for the landing of fish at the markets in as fresh a condi- tion as possible. Voyages were cut short; bonus systems were introduced, which made it worth while for the crews to see that no damage WOB done in tho stowngo or un- loading of their hauls. Unnecessary handling waa obviated by all discoverable devices. On arrival in port, supplies woro directly trans-
ferred to the market.
Then the trawler owners Introduced sys- tems of grading which guaranteed the dealer the exact CIBBB of fish he would secure, One or two of the more scrupulous forced u system of idenlilcatlon on agents, by which buyers could tell from what trawler their fish bad come, to hold the Individual owner, rather than tho whole Industry, responsible for any defects. ,
At the samo time tho trawler owners open- ed up other lines of business. With four trawlers operating, and a bigger weekly average of Uah being brought to port than in the most glutted days of the State system, it was obvious that the municipal market could not clear all supplies. Successful search was made for other avenues of dis- tribution, One owner set out to test the possibilities of country sales. To-day he is occasionally forced to buy from other trawl- ers to satisfy his country orders, and Is mak- ing unexpected profits, despite the heavy package expenses necessitated by the absenco of refrigerating oars from the railways.
The syndicnto controlling a Bccond trawler decided to open up shops In which they might offer the fish directly to the public. At the outset they found little demand for the trawled product, but lately It has become Increasingly popular. Their shops aro now numerous, and they find it profitable to offer trawled flathead at' a ilxed price of /0 per lb, well below that ruling in the days of the State industry. The samo interests recently, after a threo months' trial leased a smoking plant for a period of years and are attempt- ing to revive this second State-rulnod In- dustry. Australian fish, they say, Is well fitted for smoking and should dispute the loenl markets with Scottish supplies.
Proprietors of remaining trawlers have se- cured heavy contract business with hotels, shipping firms, and other big buyërB of fish. They have found outlets In cookshops for sup- plies bruised in handling, or torn while in the net by the frequent attacks of the leather- jacket. The owners estimate that they will rarely need to store fish. Distribution has been well organised._