Taking a break - Claire Webber aboard MFV Tacoma taking tissue samples of Tuna caught in the wild to compare with tuna grown commercially in sea pens of Port Lincoln, Eyre Peninsula SA.

Date of Event: February 27th 2015

Vessel type: Wooden Tuna Clipper, MFV Tacoma, Historic Tuna Clipper, 160 tons, 84 feet. 1951

Location: Port Lincoln

Suggested title: Fisherwoman


As a Researcher with the SBT Industry Association in Port Lincoln, Claire is passionate about SA’s developing aquaculture fishing industry.

Claire is deck boss for ‘Women’s Poling Adventure.’ Aboard the preserved working 1950’s tuna clipper, MFV Tacoma. It gives her the opportunity to encouraging discussion on the latest technology and discoveries about sustainable fisheries management.

She tells us;
‘My training and my experiences at sea have set me up well for my current role where I can follow my strong interest in environmental and fish health management, helping to develop new husbandry techniques, reduce stress and improve the condition of the fish.

A smart move was to go and work at sea on commercial fishing vessels as a Fisheries Observer very early in my career. The role was tough and isolating, as others had warned, but, over time, it proved I was willing to do the hard yards.’

Interesting anecdote

Claire “Coming Home loaded is our signature tune, we play it over the speakers, singing along with Elvis Presley. They hear us at the marina long before they see us and the more we catch the louder we sing. The men get quite upset when our catch is larger”.

What a catch!

These Tuna are being caught in the traditional way with a bamboo pole and barbless hook. Tri-Poling to reduce the strain and weight. Twin poling is more common.

Barbless Hook

MFV Tacoma, Historic Tuna Clipper, 160 tons, 84 feet.

Group Photo of first all-female crew. The sixth with Claire as ‘Deck boss” will be in 2020.



Please briefly note any objects (artefacts, images or other collection items) associated with the story

Bamboo Poles, Barbless fishing hook, life buoy.

Name of person submitting the story

Christine Houweling


AMMC Member Institution

Tacoma Preservation Society

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