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Aboriginal Fisheries Consultative Committees

Category: Organisation
Binomial Name: Northern Territory
Date: 1995
State/Country:Northern Territory, Australia
Subject Matter:Access | Consultation | Cultural Heritage | Customary Law | Environmental Heritage | Fishing | Marine
Summary Information:
Established during the 1990s following negotiations between the Northern Territory Government and Aboriginal organisations, the Aboriginal Fisheries Consultative Committees are involved in the development of policies and programs pertaining to the management of marine regions adjacent to the Northern Territory coast.

There are currently seven regional Aboriginal Fisheries Consultative Committees including the Anindilyakwa Consultative Committee, Manbuynga ga Rulyapa Fisheries Consultative Committee, Mangalpu Fisheries Committee, Numburimbi Fisheries Committee, Tiwi Coastal Waters Consultative Committee and Wurrahaliba Fisheries Committee.
Detailed Information:
Following negotiations prompted in part by the decision of the High Court in Mabo (No 2) 175 CLR 1 (Northern Territory University, 1993), the Aboriginal Fisheries Consultative Committees are established pursuant to Part III of the Fisheries Act 1988 (NT). Part III of the Act authorises the Minister to declare a 'fishery management area' or a 'managed fishery' and establish and appoint members to an advisory committee for that area or fishery. The Aboriginal Fisheries Consultative Committees consist of members nominated by the traditional owners of the relevant area. Meetings are usually held twice each year and are facilitated by the Fisheries Division of the Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources and the Northern Land Council, Tiwi Land Council and Anindilyakwa Land Council.

The committees provide an institutional opportunity for input by Aboriginal peoples into many aspects of marine area and resource management including the management of commercial and recreational fisheries in each region, and the design and conduct of environmental management activities. (Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources, 2009) The innovative and important role of the committees in coastal and marine management in Australia is noted by a review of the operation of the Land Rights Act (Reeves, 1998) and a subsequent review of the report by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs of the Commmonwealth Parliament (HRSCATSIA, 1999).

Related Entries

  • Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources (NT)
  • Northern Land Council
  • Tiwi Land Council
  • Anindilyakwa Land Council
  • Larrakia Nation Aboriginal Corporation
  • Case Law
  • Mabo v Queensland [No 2] (1992) 175 CLR 1
  • Policy/Strategy
  • Marine Rangers Program

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