Treasure Hunt Tycoon - novelonlinefull.com
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"What is this?" Li Du asked while looking over the doc.u.ment.
Hans did not reply and first said, "Careful, don't ruin it!"
Li Du responded, "This card is very st.u.r.dy. What exactly is it? Is it very valuable?"
Hans warned him two more times before gloating. "Yes, this item is very valuable. Our luck is really good. We actually found a black gold abalone harvesting permit."
"Black gold abalone harvesting permit?" Li Du looked over the card and realized what the image of a mollusk on the card was. It turned out that the image was of a black gold abalone.
Black gold abalone was a type of black abalone that was considered extremely rare marine life. From ancient times to today, it had been known as a living fossil by marine biologists.
This type of black abalone was a special product of Australia, as it was only produced in Australia and New Zealand. Meat and mollusks produced by the two countries were highly sought after around the world. The Maoris, who were the native people of New Zealand, referred to the abalone as "black gold," so that's how they came to have the beautiful name, "black gold abalone."
Since ancient times, the Chinese were especially fond of sea cuc.u.mbers and abalones. As a matter of fact, abalones were found in many of the world's seas. Even though they were hard to catch and cooking them required great effort, they were very cheap in many places before East Asia's food culture expanded to the rest of the world.
For example, the seas around America had all kinds of rare abalone. Despite that, Americans did not know how to eat them and were not fond of eating them.
Later on, with the increase in national strength and economic power of various East Asia countries, especially China, the fondness that East Asians had for abalone began to spread to the rest of the world, which brought about the increase in the price of this type of aquatic product.
Black gold abalone was an exception. Since ancient times, this type of abalone was already extremely expensive. As black gold abalone played an important role in the culture and beliefs of the Maoris, the Maoris believed that black gold abalone possessed the power to ward off evil spirits and protect their tribe.
Therefore, black gold abalone was a very commonly seen aspect of Maori mythology. Also, traces of the black gold abalone could be seen everywhere in Maori sculptures.
While surveying the black gold abalone harvesting permit, Li Du asked, "You can only harvest abalone if you have this permit? Why haven't I heard of this law in America?"
Hans gloated. "It's not surprising that you have not heard of it. This doc.u.ment is not used in America but can be used in Oceania, specifically, Australia and New Zealand."
He gave Li Du an explanation about the rarity of the doc.u.ment. As the quant.i.ty of wild abalone was extremely limited, various state governments in Australia made a series of strict regulations for the quota and methods used in harvesting black gold abalone. This was to protect the sustainable development of the fishing industry.
Unlike other regions, diving was the only legal means of harvesting black gold abalone in Australia. Moreover, when diving, the use of breathing equipment was prohibited by law.
With a limited amount of time in the water, divers still had to select abalones that were more than 12.5 centimeters in diameter, as only those abalones could be harvested. Consequently, the harvesting of black gold abalones was an extremely difficult task.
In other words, if someone wanted to harvest black gold abalone in Australia, they could only depend on their own diving ability and were not allowed to bring along oxygen tanks, let alone machines to harvest this type of precious aquatic product.
After hearing all this, Li Du suddenly caught on and nodded. "Oh, it's the same for the regulations that the Petrified Forest National Park has for searching for fire opals. In order to protect its resources, only manual harvesting is allowed, and the use of machines is prohibited."
Hans shook his head. "It is much more difficult to harvest black gold abalone. There are at most a few wild wolves, snakes, and bugs in the national park. Unlike the national park, there are all sorts of wild marine animals living all year round in the seas surrounding Australia.
"Seals, sharks, sea snakes, sea turtles... The existence of these animals has caused the many seas that surround Australia to be filled with dangers. As such, harvesting black gold abalone in Australia is a very dangerous profession."
Li Du responded, "In that case, is this doc.u.ment still valuable?"
Hans replied confidently, "Of course. The annual harvesting of king crabs in Alaska is more dangerous, but aren't there still groups of fishermen rushing over whenever it's king crab season?"
The rarity of the black gold abalone harvesting permit lay in the fact that, in order to protect wild abalone, besides employing a strategy to limit the amount that could be harvested and stipulating that a permit was required to harvest it, the Australian government also quit issuing this type of permit more than 20 years ago.
In other words, the black gold abalone harvesting permits were limited editions. As such, the quant.i.ties of the permits would only decrease and definitely not increase in the future.
Hans explained. "The black gold abalone harvesting permit is a family heirloom in many Australian families. Other than the times when they go out to sea to harvest, they keep the permit in a bank's safe."
Li Du was shocked. "It's that precious?"
Hans sneered and said, "Know how much one of these costs in the market?"
Li Du shook his head. Hans put up five fingers, so Li Du asked, "Fifty thousand dollars?"
Hans replied in a displeased manner, "Five million Australian dollars!"
Li Du was astonished. "Are you kidding? This item is worth 5,000,000? Five million AUD? Isn't that around 4,000,000 USD?"
Hans responded confidently, "Don't doubt me. I just looked it up online. As a matter of fact, even though there is a market in Australia for the harvesting permit, the permit does not have a price. There is not a single person who is willing to sell their harvesting permit."
This was very understandable. Even though there was no large-scale war happening around the world and the global economy, although sluggish for the past few years, had experienced an overall growth, the quant.i.ty of black gold abalone produced had been gradually decreasing every year.
When people became rich, they wanted to enjoy themselves. Since life was no more than just eating, drinking, and expelling waste, the price of black gold abalone had been gradually increasing every year. Black gold abalones were not sold by weight but by piece, with the lowest price of one piece being 100 USD, while the highest price was immeasurable.
Four million USD seemed like a lot of money. In truth, an Australian black gold abalone harvester could earn at least 400,000 to 500,000 USD annually.
With that, it would at most take ten years to earn back the cost invested in a black gold abalone harvesting permit. After which, all the earnings would be net earnings, and the permit could still be pa.s.sed down to descendants.
Using an a.n.a.logy, owning a black gold abalone harvesting permit in Australia was equivalent to owning a treasure bowl.
No one knew where Viktor had gotten this black gold abalone harvesting permit, but it had been kept in very good condition, so Li Du and Hans had gotten a major bargain.
Since Australia's black gold abalone harvesting permits had no name on them, anyone who got hold of one was able to use it. This was also one of the reasons the prices of the permits stayed so high.
While looking through the doc.u.ment, Li Du giggled. "Lucky, so lucky. If we sell it, won't we become millionaires?"
Hans nodded like a small chick pecking on rice. "Of course, we would become millionaires. We would immediately get a few million each. This is simply too amazing!"
Having obtained such an item, there were both elated.
After a simple tidying up of the remaining old goods, they returned to Flagstaff on the second day.
While G.o.dzilla and Big Quinn unloaded the goods from the car, Li Du went to ask Hans, "Hey, man, how are you planning to sell the permit? Can it be sold in America?"
Hans looked at him hesitantly and asked, "You seriously want to sell it?"
Li Du replied, "What, seriously? We aren't going to do like old Mr. Viktor and just sit on it, right?"
Hans licked his lips. "No, why don't we make use of it to earn money?"