Recfishwest calls for Traditional Owners to be given greater leadership roles in fisheries management

As part of NAIDOC week celebrations, Recfishwest recognises the strength, resilience, knowledge and capacity of Traditional Owners in managing and caring for the land and sea.

Recfishwest with members of the ETNTAC rangers at Nares Bay, east of Esperance.

This week’s NAIDOC theme is to “get up, stand up and show up” to support and secure institutional, structural, collaborative and cooperative reforms. 

“We recognise that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a very strong connection to country that is central to their culture,” said CEO Dr Andrew Rowland, “and their knowledge of seasonal cycles of sea country and aquatic environments has been built up over thousands of years.  

“This places them in a strong position to be able to protect and manage sea country and healthy fish populations through management approaches that integrate this knowledge.  

“Traditional Owners must be given a greater opportunity to take a leadership role when it comes to the management of WA’s aquatic habitats and fisheries.   

“This means fisheries management systems and research frameworks must better incorporate the rights, interests, aspirations, and culture of traditional owners. 

“It means new structures and processes for better representation as well as pathways to deliver on-ground fisheries-related activities such as education, compliance, monitoring and research. 

“Fishers and Traditional Owners share many fishing and conservation values and we look forward to collaborating further around areas of mutual interest in the months and years ahead.”

Recfishwest particularly recognises the capability and achievements of ranger groups from the Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (ETNTAC) and the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation in caring for important sea country areas.

Each of these groups is doing great work looking afters some of special places important to WA fishers.

Murujuga rangers assisting with artificial reef site surveying work off Dampier.

Find out more about the Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation and what it does here and about the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation here.

For more information about NAIDOC week activities in WA, click here

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