Aboriginal Traditional Fishing

Aboriginal Traditional Fishing in South Australia is recognised by the Fisheries Management Act 2007 and provides for the development of Aboriginal Traditional Management Plans in conjunction with any existing and/or new Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUA).

About

Aboriginal traditional fishing is fishing engaged in by an Aboriginal person to satisfy personal, domestic, or non-commercial communal needs.

This includes:

  • ceremonial, spiritual, and educational needs
  • using fish and other natural marine and freshwater products in accordance with relevant Aboriginal custom.

Many South Australian Aboriginal communities have a strong connection to country and a long history of fishing in both marine and inland waters that is central to their culture and tradition.

The State Government recognises the need to progress how we manage South Australia’s fisheries to include Aboriginal knowledge and involvement of the Elders and their communities. This needs to be done in a way that also respects the interests of commercial and recreational fishers in accessing the state’s aquatic resources.

Recognition of Aboriginal traditional fishing

The Government of South Australia recognises Aboriginal traditional fishing as a distinct and unique class of fishing.

PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture is committed to working together with the Aboriginal community and other fishing sectors to sustainably manage fish resources in freshwater and saltwater country.

There will be a focus on sustainable fisheries management in collaboration with the Aboriginal Sea Nations.

Priorities for research for Aboriginal traditional fishing are:

  • the development of an appropriate method for collecting catch and effort information
  • analysis of the impact of Aboriginal traditional fishing on key species
  • integration of management of Aboriginal traditional fishing with the management of the recreational sector.

Aboriginal Career Pathways Program

The Aboriginal Fisheries Officer Career Pathway Program was established in 2016 to provide the opportunity for Aboriginal people from their respective Sea country and communities to assist PIRSA to support and manage the State’s aquatic resources.

PIRSA Fisheries & Aquaculture has representation from some of the key Aboriginal Sea Nation communities including Narungga, Wirangu, Barngala and Nawu.  A Senior Fisheries Officer – Trainee Coordinator has been appointed to help steer the success of the program and progress career pathways for Aboriginal persons.  PIRSA is also working to identify opportunities to include trainees from other sea country across the State in the future.

PIRSA Fisheries & Aquaculture is committed to working together with the Aboriginal community and other fishing sectors to sustainably manage fish resources in freshwater and saltwater country. There will be a focus on sustainable fisheries management in collaboration with the Aboriginal Sea Nations.

Indigenous Land Use Agreements in South Australia

An Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) is a voluntary agreement between a native title group and others about the use and management of land and waters.

Search the register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements

Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) support the development of an Aboriginal Traditional Fishing Management Plan for the purpose of ensuring that Aboriginal peoples are able to enjoy, exercise and maintain Aboriginal traditional fishing practices in a way that is sustainable. Any Aboriginal Traditional Fishing Management Plans will help ensure that Aboriginal peoples can manage their traditional fishing activities taking into consideration both traditional laws and customs and the laws of the State.

Yandruwandha Yawarrawarrka Traditional Fishing Management Plan

The Yandruwandha Yawarrawarrka Traditional Fishing Management Plan includes fisheries management arrangements for the Yandruwandha Yawarrawarrka ILUA area waters. It includes information about:

  • locations covered by the ILUA
  • who can fish under the plan
  • allowed fishing activities
  • Aboriginal traditional fishing rights
  • fishing permits and restrictions
  • possession limits
  • net and spear specifications; and
  • protection of culturally important species and areas.

Yandruwandha Yawarrawarrka Traditional Fishing Management Plan (page 65 onwards) (PDF 9.0 MB)

More information

Aboriginal Fisheries Officers Program An SA First - media release - 28 April 2017

Contact

Shane Holland, Traditional Fisheries Manager
PIRSA Fisheries and Aquaculture
Phone: (08) 8429 0726
Email: shane.holland2@sa.gov.au

Page Last Reviewed: 10 Aug 2017
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