Lobster Tales brings together a kaleidoscope of people who marvel at Crayfish, risk their lives harvesting them, gastronomically revere them, and export them live into lucrative overseas markets. From the remote Abrolhos Islands of Western Australia to the other side of the continent where Larry, Australia’s Giant Lobster monument, towers above the highway, Lobster Tales are told.
Crayfish, by and large, lead lazy uneventful lives at the bottom of the sea – so the majority of us believe. But this is not the case off the coast of Western Australia. On the sandy bottom of the Indian Ocean, hundreds of thousands of Crayfish are on the move. Every Summer they march, crossing great distances, for reasons known only to themselves. For decades, fisherfolk have followed the crays out to sea, living precariously perched on a group of limestone rocks near to their catch. They puzzle over the strange behaviours of their quarry, and profit by second-guessing the direction of their migrations. From this remote outpost come tales of enduring cultural traditions - a church built by the Italians, a sauna by the Finns and a pub by the Australians – and here they stay ‘millionaires in tin huts’ until the season closes.
Lobster fan-fair and festivity heralds the annual Blessing of the Fleet. Fisher-Folk nod at the patron saints as the boats are blessed with great aplomb and the Lobsters wished well. As the leggy crustaceans get down to the business of mating, fighting, giving birth and leaving home, the human hunt begins, amid the cheery chatter of Lobster Tales.
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"Setting this documentary apart…is the effort it makes to humanise the poachers and explain the circumstances which compels them to hunt."
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"All three groups of fishermen feature in Lobster Tales, an ABC documentary that will change the way you look at these delicious crustaceans forever."
“The great achievement of Lobster Tales, a delightfully oddball WA-made documentary on the lucrative local crayfish industry ... strikes such a lovely balance between the lobsters and fishermen that it’s more like a well-wrought tragi-comedy than a traditional nature doco"
“Even for non-lobster-lovers, this quirky feature provides plenty of interest ... the highlight is the underwater photography by Leighton de Barros which is up-close and stunning."
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(pick of the week)
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