North-West Australian Fishers.
" What hids't thou in thy treasure-caves and cells, Thöu hollow-sounding and mysterious Main ? Pale glistening Pearls, and rainbow-coloured shells, Bright things that gleam unrecked of and in vain."
was commenced on this coast in 1868, and in spite of its natural
difficulties and the great fall in the price of Pearl-shells, the
industry has, up to the present time, been actively and. prosperously
maintained. It commenced in a modest way; the shells being simply
picked up at low water on reefs almost dry for two hours in the day,
but covered by from three to five fathoms of water at high tide. As
these " dry shells " became exhausted, small boats and dingies were
introduced, each boat with a white man and six to eight natives, diving
in one or two fathoms of water, wherever they