2012 -The sea tomato - or red jellyfish - is blooming, an event that hasnít occurred since 2006
The history of Pearling - produced by St. Mary's students
Live Pearl shell at Gantheaume Point
Coral at Gantheaume Point
SHELLS: The ruby murex shell (chicoreus rubuginosus) is only found in the Broome region at Riddell beach - it is protected and very endangered
CRABS: soldier crab crab balls , mud crab, fiddler crab , sleepy crab, blue manna
hermit crabs ghost crab - there are over 40 species in Broome.
BARNACLES: Mother nature's hitch hiker
WHALES: On one occasion I saw a 9 metre killer whale jump completely out of the water at Gantheaume Point. It was black and white in colour - can swim at 40 kilometres an hour - gives birth to live young.
The south- east winds makes the sea rough and dirty indicating that the Walgawalga (Polydactlus nigripinnis -salmon) is on the run and can now be caught. Other fishes that are fat during Barrgana are Langa (catfish from the Ariidae family), Gulbany (mullet from the Mugilidae family) and a variety of other that live in the mud creeks.
The people would move towards the creeks to catch the Walgawalga and other creek fishes.
Traditionally the people caught the Walgawalga and other fish in Gurjungu (stone fishtraps) or in stick fishtraps. The Gurjungu were used during spring tide. The stick fishtraps were constructed by placing Balu (sticks) very close together across the length of acreek. Then , when the tide started to go out, the people would jump into the water and jam Wirrigin (branches) and Gurlju (grasses) between the stick to stop the fish from escaping.
The spikes of the Langa (catfish from the Ariidae family) have to be remove after it is caught because if a person is poked by one of them, swelling and pain will occur. If this occurs, the urine bag is taken out of the Langa and rubbed onto the wound to stop the pain.
The Walgawalga and langa are both gutted before cooking. The guts of the Walgawalga can be cooked and eaten too.
The Walgawalga and langa are cooked on hot coals. Leafy branches are used as a plate for the cooked fish.
Gulbany (mullet from the Mugilidae family)are fat too and can be eaten. But now in the days of Wirliwirli (fishing line ), they are mostly used as bait to catch the Walgawalga.
Spring tides occur
The people move their camps to the waterholes along the coast and take advantage of the low spring tides to exploit the reef.
All the reef fishes and shell foods are now fat. The Bandirrbandirr (Lutjanus carponotatus gold-striped sea-perch) takes the fat away from the Gulamana
(Chlamydosaurus kingii frilled or umbrella lizard) and all the lizards become skinny.
The Mala (syrinx aruanus conch shell) is fat and is collected from the reef.
The people cook it in the hot coals, crack it open and eat the meat inside it.
The Jaguli ( Pinctada margaritifera - small pearl shell) is fat too and is collected from rock crevices on the reef.
Binyga (Melo amphora - baler shell) are collected too and kept to be used for carrying water and as a digging utensil.
All the Yillany (snappers from the Lutjunidae family) are fat.
All the Munyjiyirri (Ephinephelus maculatus - brown spotted rock cod) are fat.
All the Mungku (bream from the Lethrinidae family) are fat
All the Mungku and Yabananya (batfish from the Ephippidae family) are fat.
All the Yingaliwa (Choerodon schoenleinii - large bluebones) and many other reef fish are fat. Traditionally the people used a fish poison called Banyjud (Tephrosiacrocea) to catch these fish. The Banyjud was smashed and placed in rock pools. The fish were stunned by the poison and they floated to the surface a few seconds later. Today, the Wirliwirli (fishing line) is used.
In the mangroves, the Jirrinygiliny (Anadara granosa - mud cockles are fat. The woman collect, wash and cook them on the coals or boil them.
The Janga (oyster from the Ostreide family) are fat too.
They are collected within their shells and cooked on the coals.
The shell is then cracked open and the Janga eaten.
Nowadays, the Janga may be collected without its shell and boiled.
The wangkaja ( Scylla serrata- mangrove crab) is full ( fat) too.
The wangkaja is cooked on the coals unit its shell turns orange.
Today, the people may boil the Wangkaja ( Scylla serrata- Mangrove crab) because the have pots and pans to do so.
The Birndany (stingray from the Dasaytididae family) is still
fat through Mankala.
Sharks like the Jurrawayi (Loxodon macrorhinus Ė sliteye
shark) are still fat too.