Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative Rock Lobster Exporters

Our Story

Our Fishermen

Featured fisherman for March '18

Stephen “Butch” Maddren

  • From Geraldton
  • Fishing for GFC for over 30 Years
  • Skippers Jay Nicole Lee

Butch as he is commonly known around the traps has been with the Co-op now for over 30 years and has been amongst one of our most loyal fisherman and is always there to lend a helping hand.

Butch left school and went to Leeman with a friend whose father was a fisherman Kym Wann. He did one season as a deckhand before going and doing an apprenticeship in Mechanical Fitting then returning and working again as a deckhand for 13 years.  He first week’s pay was $37.00, a far call from what deckhands receive today.

After many years of trying to get a break with the Banks they finally changed there’re policy and recognised the collateral in a fishing license and Butch was able to get a loan to buy pots & first boat which he still has the “Jay Nicole Lee”. Butch is a A zone fisherman and has camps on East Wallabi, Abrolhos Islands and is based out of Geraldton.

One of the funniest things Butch recalls was one of their pots was snagged on the reef and the deckhand said “No worries I’ll jump over board and free it”.  As soon as the deckhand dived overboard we saw a shark circling.  We all screamed at him that there was a shark, he swam to the back of the boat and became like god and literally walked on water and launched himself into the back of the boat. Funniest site ever!  When we asked Butch what would be your dream job, he simply replied I’m living it and doing it every day and wouldn’t trade places for anything.

The one character Butch would like to make mention is Dennis Ralph because of his sense of humour and approach to life in general.

Butch and his lovley wife Catherine participated in the most recent China Tours and commented that “you just don’t get a proper understanding of what goes on once the crays leave the ocean until you see what GFC is going in China… its amazing” Butch also went on to say what a great team we have here at GFC always willing to help, we are like one big family here at the Co-op.

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