The aim of this project was to investigate the commercial viability of catching squid in Bass Strait, and marketing the catch, over a twelve month period.
The grant was sought to offset some of the operating expenses during exploratory fishing, especially during the winter and spring months when reported squid catches have been very low.
It was agreed at a meeting in Melbourne with Dr. Walker that squid fishing would be done in conjunction with shark fishing when squid catches were low, but it was expected that the boat would fish for squid full time when catches improved. It was agreed that squid fishing would take place on at least two fishing trips per month, weather permitting, for a twelve month period.
Notification that the Grant had been approved was received in late July 1986, and five automatic jigging machines were placed on the boat in August. With five machines, the shark gear can be left on the boat. At the end of November the boat went on the slip for its annual survey and maintenance and during this time the shark gear was removed and three more jigging machines were installed. The boat commenced full time squid fishing in mid-December 1986 and continued until May 1987 when catches dropped off significantly and shark fishing was resumed on a part time basis until the end of July 1987.