The Principles Communiqué on Indigenous Fishing

Category: Policy/Strategy
Date: 22 December 2004
Sub Category:Policy/Strategy
Subject Matter:Aquaculture | | Economic Development | Fishing | Marine | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests | Tourism
Summary Information:
The Principles Communiqué on Indigenous Fishing ('the Principles') encourage the Australia-wide recognition of traditional fishing practices and greater indigenous involvement in commercial fisheries, charter fishing and eco-tourism activities (NNTT 2004).
Detailed Information:
Formulation of the Principles The Principles were formulated by the National Indigenous Fishing Technical Working Group (NFTWG). The Principles The Principles comprise two mutually dependent parts, namely a preamble and the enumerated principles. The Principles recognise both Indigenous traditions related to freshwater and saltwater environments and contemporary aspirations. Primarily based upon development relating to defined customary fishing rights (excluding commercial activity) and mechanisms that facilitate Indigenous involvement in marine and fisheries related businesses, the Principles provide a national policy framework to guide the future development of Indigenous fishing strategies. The Principles favour a policy-driven approach over litigation (ABC Message Stick), and are neither legally binding nor a limitation on Indigenous peoples' scope to pursue other arrangements (Preamble, The Principles Communiqué). The Principles include:
  • the recognition that Indigenous people were the first custodians of Australia's marine and freshwater environments;
  • the definition of customary fishing;
  • provisions for the incorporation of customary fishing into fisheries management regimes and wherever possible, allocation of a share in sustainable managed fisheries;
  • proactive support from Government and stakeholders for increased Indigenous participation in fisheries-related businesses, including recreational and charter sectors; and
  • the expedition of related vocational development.
  • Outcomes:
    South Australia has established a Sea Ranger program which provides a framework and resources for Indigenous peoples' participation in a training and certification program towards becoming a marine ranger (NNTT, 2006). In the Northern Territory, over 77 Indigenous rangers have completed certification in Fisheries Compliance (NNTT, 2006). For further information, see the National Indigenous Fishing Technical Working Group Conference 2006 papers (link below).

    Related Entries

  • National Indigenous Fishing Technical Working Group

  • Glossary