Southern bluefin tuna and Yellowtail kingfish are held and fed in floating pens in Spencer Gulf, South Australia. Most of these farmed fish are exported to maximise profits. While the product is promoted as premium seafood from a clean environment, the industry itself is the gulf’s largest industrial polluter of marine waters.
Fish farm pollution includes wastes from the fishes’ guts and gills, food which sinks uneaten and fish that die and fall to the bottom of the net. Antibiotics and baths of hydrogen peroxide used to treat sick fish are further pollutants. These alter the chemistry of the surrounding water, which can harm the farmed fish and the wider marine ecosystem. Due to a special Australian Government exemption, the fish farming industry is not required to report its pollution to a public register, while intensive animal farming on land, is.
“Money Trap” is made from a variety of found, repurposed and new materials. The net is an abandoned crab net, recovered while snorkelling off the Le Fevre peninsula. The rust and blemishes on the model fish represent the animal health problems which are an inescapable part of the trade. The artwork represents a farming practice most people are unfamiliar with- one with consequences that are hidden from view by location and legislation.
This artwork was first exhibited during Remade– a group exhibition held at Gallery 1855 in Tea Tree Gully, South Australia during Adelaide Fringe 2021. It hangs from a single short length of chain. An additional length of recovered fishing rope can be supplied on request.
The artwork has a musical quality similar to a wind chime when set in motion by hand or wind. It is well suited to outdoor display, on a porch or in a garden setting, and can collapse down to a flat package for shipping.