Australia’s oldest fishing shop is closing its doors, bringing an end to 90 years and three generations of trading.
Western Australia’s last Bluewater Tackle World branch in Myaree will shut up shop for good in coming weeks, with the business citing new recreational fishing regulations in the state for its closure.
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The family-owned business dates back to 1932 but this month announced it was shutting up shop, leaving hundreds of local shoppers heartbroken.
“Our Myaree store is at end of lease and after much soul-searching, we have decided to close our doors,” the company said on Facebook.
“After 91 years in the fishing tackle industry, it is time for the Harvey family to move on.
“Many thanks to our wonderful staff, customers, suppliers and friends within the trade for making great memories over four generations.
“The Harvey family are grateful to you all.”
The business admitted it was the “end of an era” and has blamed a change to fishing rules in WA for the decision.
The rules, introduced this year under a new sustainability plan, saw a total ban on recreational fishing of demersal scalefish extended to six months a year, among other restrictions.
Bluewater Tackle World owner Liz Harvey called on the community to show up for the family-owned businesses.
“I’d like to send a message to people to support their independent tackles stores because they’re going to need all the help they can get,” she told PerthNow.
“The independent tackle stores are all owned by families and if they don’t get the support from the community, they will all close like we’ve had to.”
Harvey’s father-in-law, Ted Harvey, opened what became the first Australian fishing shop in Scarborough in 1932 when he expanded his general store and newsagency to sell fishing gear.
It grew to two stores, which Ted’s sons Jack and Ross took over, before Harvey’s husband Hal later bought the company from his father Jack and expanded it statewide.
Hal, who was a popular fishing personality, died from cancer in 2014 and Harvey took over running the stores.
At its peak, the company had shops in Joondalup, Exmouth, Perth, Mindarie, Morley and Myaree. However, all the stores have since closed.
Local anglers flocked to social media to share their devastation and thank the team for its work over the last 90 years.
“A sad day indeed, the Bluewater group led by Hal shaped the tackle industry to what it is today,” one person said.
“Pretty sure every fisho in WA has been helped and benefited from the BWT team at some stage. Good memories with a special bunch,” another added.
Other Tackle World stores nationwide, which are independent but part of the national group, are unaffected.
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