Composition of the Aboriginal harvest of fisheries resources in coastal New South Wales, Australia

Abstract

A key aspect of equitable management of the world’s fishery resources is the provision of traditional fishing access for Indigenous peoples. In Australia, increased recognition of the importance of fisheries to Indigenous culture and livelihoods over recent years has created a need for information on the species targeted to support policy and management. In the State of New South Wales (NSW), research on Indigenous fisheries catch composition is limited to two major studies. Here, we compare and combine data on Indigenous catch composition from these two studies to produce a comprehensive synthesis of current knowledge of Indigenous fisheries in NSW. The species harvested include more than 150 species of finfish and invertebrates, over 90 % of which are also harvested by commercial and recreational fishers. Our findings provide an empirical basis for future development of policy and management initiatives to meet the needs of Indigenous fishers and other stakeholders, as well as the principles of sustainable fisheries harvest.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the research funders, the National Heritage Trust and the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation without their contribution this research would not have been possible. Thanks to Adam Faulkner and Uncle Charles Moran for their help with the research, community engagement and guidance in the NHT study. We would like to acknowledge the contributions of the Tweed Aboriginal Community, especially Clarry Williams and Lexene Busbridge for their unwavering support, guidance, input and help during the FRDC study. The authors would also like to acknowledge the Australian Society for Fish Biology and the Australian Society for Limnology for their invitation to attend the special session of their annual conference and to present the findings of this research. The authors are extremely grateful for the support and advice provided by Assoc. Prof. David Crook, Principal Research Fellow, Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory for his ongoing guidance and advice in the development of this paper. This research was conducted with ethics approval from the Southern Cross University, ethics approval number ECN-09-145.

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Schnierer, S., Egan, H. Composition of the Aboriginal harvest of fisheries resources in coastal New South Wales, Australia. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries 26, 693–709 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-016-9452-z

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Keywords

  • Indigenous fisheries
  • Aboriginal harvest
  • Indigenous fishing rights
  • Customary fishing
  • Resource allocation