The principles have been drawn up by a joint national group incorporating commercial, recreational and indigenous stakeholders.
The tribunal’s co-chair John Catlin welcomed the agreement as a step forward for the fisheries industry which has been beset by law suits between various parties in the absence of common principles.
“The commercial fishing industry’s sick to death of litigation, they don’t want to spend more money on court cases and arguments in, you know, in the Federal Court about native title rights, but they are much more interested in working with Aboriginal people to see community development take place, to build partnerships with them on commercial development,” Mr Catlin said.
The National Indigenous Fishing Technical Working Group was set up in October 2003.
Since then, a number of meetings have been held bringing together representatives from the seafood industries, recreational fishing, indigenous fishing, native title, and state and federal government natural resource managers.
Mr Catlin said the formalisation of principles would bring Australia closer to the level of recognition experienced by indigenous populations in countries such as New Zealand and Canada.
‘There’s been a realisation that just basic subsistence fishing has to be protected alongside the rights of everyone else,” Mr Catlin said.
The timing of the announcement coincides with the signing of a landmark traditional hunting agreement in Cape York between the Angumothimaree indigenous owners, and parks and wildlife authorities.
The agreement allows the Angumothimaree to have greater control over turtle and dugong hunting and includes a permit system covering use of the Pine River near Weipa.
Hunting will be restricted to four months between December and March with catches limited to one male turtle or male dugong.
Permits will only be issued for cultural reasons.
“It’s taken around two years, but now that we have got a template to work off the others should be a lot quicker and a lot smoother,” Queensland Parks spokesman Brian Singleton said.
There have already been expressions of interest from other communities about negotiating similar deals.
“There has been interest at the next river system the Mission River and there’s also been interest on the east coast at Lockhart and the Lama Lama people down around the Princess Charlotte Bay area have also expressed interest in looking at a community-based management plan,” Mr Singleton added.
Last month, Federal Fisheries Minister Ian Macdonald signalled an immediate review of indigenous harvesting of dugongs after the release of a report detailing unsustainable levels of hunting in Australian waters.
Dugong expert Helene Marsh estimated that about 1,000 of the sea mammals were killed in the Torres Strait each year, a figure 10 times above what is considered a sustainable level.
In light of fears the dugong is facing extinction, the Fisheries Minister said the federal government would be working very closely with indigenous communities to tighten control over hunting practices.Categories : 上海性息网