Aboriginal Eel Aquaculture

Aboriginal eel aquaculture system inGunditjmara Country, South West Victoria, Australia. María José Zúñiga The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape is located in the Country of the Gunditjmara aboriginal people in Victoria, Australia. Budj Bim (known today as Mount Eccles) is the volcano that thousands of years ago caused an extensive lava flow that transformed the landscape…

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Smoking trees

Manna Gum and Red Gum trees were used to smoke eels and fish. Existing hollows at the base of a tree were expanded and burnt out forming a chimney. Eels and fishes were hung inside the chimney and smoke from the small fire lit inside the base of the tree would start the smoking process.…

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Gnarraban

Eel baskets were placed in gaps of stone and wooden fish traps with an opening to capture mature eels and let immature eels through. The baskets were mostly woven with Common Reed and Spear grass found in the area. Basket making was commonly performed by women. Project: Aboriginal eel Aquaculture – Gunditjmara Country. Climate: Temperate…

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Weir

Flexible walls constructed with eroded basalt rock, positioned across waterways and wetland areas. Used to capture large pools of water where eels and fish could be kept fresh, during autumn and winter, for maturing or to catch when required. Project: Aboriginal eel Aquaculture – Gunditjmara Country. Climate: Temperate – Warm-summer Mediterranean Year: 4000 BC Water…

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Trap

Artificial and built-up structures with gaps or sections for water to flow through and where a Gnarraban (basket) can be placed. These structures were positioned across races and natural drainage lines. The traps could be built as V-shaped basalt block walls, or as a woven timber fence. Project: Aboriginal eel Aquaculture – Gunditjmara Country. Climate:…

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Race

Artificial water line built above the ground and partially delimited with eroded basalt rocks. Some are more than 50m long and 0.75m high, used generally for directing water. Project: Aboriginal eel Aquaculture – Gunditjmara Country. Climate: Temperate – warm summer Mediterranean Year: 4000 BC Water type: Freshwater Landscape: Volcano stream Altitude: 20-30 m.a.s.l Soil condition:…

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Canal

Artificial and excavated features constructed from eroded basalt rocks found on the site. Some are more than 300m long, used mostly during rainy season to channel water flow from wetland to wetland Project: Aboriginal eel Aquaculture – Gunditjmara Country. Climate: Temperate with warm summers, Mediterranean Year: 4000 BC Water type: Freshwater Landscape: Volcano stream Altitude:…

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