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Who has the right to fish where? Contentious plan reveals gulf between fishers, traditional owners

Who has the right to fish where? Contentious plan reveals gulf between fishers, traditional owners

Plans for a brand fresh marine park on the northern Australian hover be pleased hit a nerve, sparking traumatic discussions over who has the right to fish where on the Kimberley hover.

Key capabilities:

  • The proposed marine park is the first in WA to be co-designed by Aboriginal traditional owners
  • Tensions are already rising over who might be allowed to fish at standard spots
  • Draft plans are open for public tell until Would possibly perchance perhaps perchance presumably, with plans to be finalised by the dwell of 2021

The 660,000 hectare park is planned for the Buccaneer Archipelago and Dampier Peninsula, which soak up some of the most swish stretches of Western Australia’s northern hover.

Early Newspaper

Below draft plans place apart out for public tell, leisure fishing would be banned or restricted in 40 per cent of the park.

The over who has rep right of entry to to top fishing spots has uncovered an ideological gulf in northern communities about the increasing have an effect on Aboriginal native title holders be pleased over rep right of entry to and land administration.

Liberal candidate Geoff Haerewa has slammed the marine park plans in the lead-up to the mid-March impart election, writing on his Fb page that the Labor Govt’s plot used to be “elitist, divisive, and un-Australian”.

He acknowledged his criticism used to be aimed at the Govt’s going thru of the course of, not directed at the Aboriginal traditional owners who co-designed the maps.

Aerial image of a stunning archipelago of green islands across crystal blue waters.

The archipelago off the north-west hover is passe by traditional owners for making an try and customary activities, as neatly as for tourism and leisure and industrial fishing.(

Provided: Air Kimberley


“There need to be an equal amount of time place apart all the plot thru all stakeholders.

“I increase the plan itself, nevertheless I make not increase the plot the plan came about with minimal session that used to be not inclusive.”

‘This can’t be about bustle’

It is the first time the WA Govt has invited Aboriginal native title holders to co-form a marine park from the outset, rather than be treated as one of many stakeholders who give input in the course of session.

Francis Woolagoodja is the chairman of Dambeemangarddee, which is one of three Aboriginal teams that can collectively manage the marine park.

He described Mr Haerewa’s feedback as disappointing, particularly given the Liberal candidate represents many Aboriginal folks as a local shire president.

“Right here isn’t about bustle, and it might perchance perhaps probably well be greater if we don’t rep to the level of other folks making these feedback on Fb.

“Traditional owners are rather decent folks, we don’t enjoy to talk about cherish that round bustle and color, since it be not the world we dwell in up here in the Kimberley.”

Francis Woolagoodja.

Francis Woolagoodja is the chairman of the Dambeemangarddee native title organisation in the west Kimberley.(

ABC Kimberley: Erin Parke


Mr Woolagoodja acknowledged the unbiased of the five-month session and public tell interval used to be to attain an affiliation that all people used to be contented with.

“Right here is all up for discussion, and the traditional owners are open to that,” he acknowledged.

“Clearly folks rep frightened of what they don’t know.

“So for us, we prefer to salvage a mode to inaugurate the discussion and showcase why we prefer to be pleased these zones.”

Public entreated to rep fervent

It’s a shift in have an effect on that has proved jarring for some locals, who had been accustomed to fishing where they prefer and when they prefer, regardless of native title determinations transferring administration rights to local Aboriginal teams.

The ideological divide about land and marine rep right of entry to used to be uncovered at a most up-to-date Broome Fishing Club assembly held to talk about the marine park, where a representative of the crew Recfishwest told the crowd “it be a total fresh world we dwell in, and we’re not all feeling that overjoyed about it”.

A large group of mostly men.

Broome Fishing Club members were briefed on the proposed marine park.(

ABC Kimberley: Erin Parke


In a apply-up newsletter, the organisation described folks as feeling “overwhelmed and at a loss for words” by the proposals.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Sights has moved to reassure locals that the fishing zones are silent up for negotiation, and their views might be listened to.

Kimberley Regional Manager Craig Olejnik acknowledged files sessions would be held in mid-March to showcase the changes.

“We will collate the feedback, gaze what’s being acknowledged, and then work with the traditional owners to review what the zones look for cherish and where they are.”

The enviornment is ‘what has been left’

Recfishwest Chief Govt Andrew Rowland acknowledged they would be doing what they can also to be pleased the restrictions watered down.

“Some will roar that 60 per cent of the marine park stays open for regular employ, nevertheless the secret is what areas had been left and what areas had been locked off,” he acknowledged.

Mr Rowland acknowledged the onus used to be on those pushing for the marine park to showcase why the discount in fishing used to be wanted.

“I deem there’s a solid precept here — and it doesn’t the truth is topic if it be this marine park or wherever — that if folks are to be excluded from accessing fishing in some areas that they’re at the moment allowed to, then there wants to be some files provided to folks about why they’re excluded going forward.”

‘Why we fought for native title’

The marine park has been prioritised by the McGowan Govt due to increasing visitor numbers in the net page.

The preference of other folks travelling to the Dampier Peninsula is anticipated to amplify by as worthy as 40 per cent in coming years, following the $65 million sealing of the valuable rep right of entry to road.

Remote beach with scrub and white sands surrounded by pristine ocean.

Traditional owners had been serious about fishing rep right of entry to plans for the Dampier Peninsula.(

ABC Kimberley: Ben Collins


A entire lot of the 1,000 Aboriginal residents of the picturesque peninsula had blended feelings about the sealing, and it’s understood the marine park used to be, in allotment, an effort to appease those teams by giving them extra withhold watch over over public rep right of entry to.

Somewhat misplaced in the public discussion to this level is the excitement local Aboriginal folks feel about seeing their native title rights place apart into relate.

Janella Isaacs, who lives at a bush crew on the Dampier Peninsula, used to be serious about the marine park planning on behalf of the Mayala Traditional Owners.

“People talk about ‘connection to country’, and it’s true and it’s solid, and folks need to recognise that.

“But we attain prefer to hear from the public and open the dialogue and roar, ‘Right here is how we deem it would work, and what are your views?’.”

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Sights has acknowledged it hopes to be pleased the marine park plans finalised by the dwell of the year.

Who has the right to fish where? Contentious plan reveals gulf between fishers, traditional owners