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Pearling and Fishing Jobs in Western Australia

Western Australia is well known for its established pearling and fishing industries. Although these industries have faced challenges in recent years, they are worth millions of dollars and remain popular among backpackers looking for work.

If you are looking for an alternative to the usual farming and fruit picking jobs, the pearling and fishing industries are well worth looking into. Although this type of work is tough and typically involves long hours, it can also be extremely rewarding and offers you the chance to get close to nature. What’s more, this kind of work can be lucrative and provides plenty of opportunities to learn new skills.

Pearling Jobs in Western Australia

The pearling industry in Western Australia was worth $67 million in 2014. It involves the farming of oysters for pearls (especially South Sea pearls), which are then sold for use in jewellery and other products. There is also mother of pearl, which is used in jewellery, buttons, furniture and other items.

Most of Australia’s pearling industry is focused around Broome in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, although it also has a significant presence in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

If you’re thinking of looking for pearling jobs, the first thing you should know is that it is extremely hard physical work and as such it definitely doesn’t suit everyone! The days can be long and difficult, with work typically starting at 6am in the morning and going through until late afternoon. Many pearling farms offer jobs where you work and live on the boat for several weeks at a time, although other farms allow you to work more typical shift patterns and sleep on dry land.

Although it is hard, dirty and even smelly work, pearling can also be extremely interesting and rewarding. If you have an interest in the sea and marine life, pearling offers the opportunity to experience the beauty of nature first hand and get close to the diverse range of marine life found in this part of Australia.

Pearling takes place all year round, but the busiest time of year is usually from April to October. As such, this is the best time to look for pearling jobs.

 Fishing Jobs in Western Australia

Fishing is another interesting alternative to traditional backpacker farm jobs. Again, it is hard work and often involves extremely long hours, but for the right sort of person it offers many rewards and can be extremely lucrative. If you enjoy being out at sea and fancy a new adventure, this could be the right opportunity for you.

Fishing work is most readily available between March and November. You’ll be fishing for prawns, crayfish, scallops and other shellfish, with work available both on the boats and in the processing factories. Most skippers do their own hiring, so it’s worth contacting them directly before the season begins. Work may be available through backpacker recruitment agencies, but it’s worth keeping in mind that most fishermen prefer to do things themselves and rely mostly on word of mouth.

Article by Dan Flower




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