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Marine Rangers Program

Category: Policy/Strategy
Binomial Name: Northern Territory
Date: 1994
State/Country:Northern Territory, Australia
Subject Matter: | Cultural Heritage | Defence | Employment and Training | Environmental Heritage | Fishing | Marine | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership
Summary Information:
The Marine Rangers program, jointly developed by the NT government and the Northern Land Council, Tiwi Land Council, Anindilyakwa Land Council and several incorporated Aboriginal organisations, has become an integral component of the management of fisheries and coastal waters in the Northern Territory, including for the conduct of environmental management and monitoring, the enforcement of fisheries regulations and border security patrols.
Detailed Information:
As in the jointly managed national parks of the Northern Territory such as Kakadu National Park and Nitmiluk National park, where many park Rangers are nominated by traditional owners, the Marine Rangers program provides a source of resources and authority for environmental and resource management and enforcement activities by traditional owners.

The Marine Rangers program was established following extensive negotiations during the mid-1990s, providing traditional owners with a significant role in the implementation and enforcement of environmental protection and resource management programs in the coastal waters of the Northern Territory.

The NT Government, several Federal Government agencies, Land Councils and other Aboriginal organisations have been involved in negotiations to extend the Marine Rangers program to recognise the expertise and authority of traditional owners for functions such as monitoring the permit system to enter Aboriginal waters and fisheries, as well as environmental and customs regulations.

The Marine Rangers program operates in conjunction with regional Aboriginal consultative committees, the Fisheries Division of the Department of Primary Industry, Fisheries and Mines, and the Police Marine and Fisheries Enforcement Unit. In some cases agreements have also been reached with the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service and Customs, including for the conduct of Marine Ranger patrols based at the Tiwi Islands, Borroloola, Port Keats, and Maningrida.

As of 2007 there were over 400 people employed in thirty-six community based Ranger projects (territorial and marine) throughout the NT, the number and types of agreements between traditional owners, government agencies, companies and individuals increasing substantially since the mid-1990s. (Morrison, 2007: Resource Assessment Commission, 1993)

Related Entries

  • Larrakia Nation ‘Larrakia Rangers’ Shared Responsibility Agreement (SRA)
  • Organisation
  • Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources (NT)
  • Aboriginal Fisheries Consultative Committees

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