Peak Aboriginal body joins fight to save NSW fisheries

Peak Aboriginal body joins fight to save NSW fisheries

March 11, 2014

The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) is proud to come together with a diverse range of state-based ogransations in helping to improve the habitat of fish stocks across NSW.

Today NSWALC officially became a signatory to the agreement of the NSW Fish Habitat Partnership along with ten other founding member organisations.

Engagement in the partnership supports NSWALC's advocacy role to promote the cultural rights and fishing practices of Aboriginal peoples and may progress further research into Aboriginal peoples' interactions with fisheries resources.

"We're pleased to be involved in this environmental partnership which will improve habitats and increase fish stocks in our rivers, lakes and streams," NSWALC's Deputy Chairman, Roy Ah See said.

"Aboriginal people have a natural affinity with their watercourses, and fishing is basically genetic for most of our mob…we love it.

"This signing is an important step too. It says that despite our work in differing sectors, all eleven signatories have today come together to put the health of the environment front and centre."

The decline in fisheries across the state since colonisation has been nothing short of dramatic. This is directly linked to poor water quality, habitat destruction and general misuse of waterways and tributaries across NSW.

"The NSWALC will be working within our network of 20,000 Aboriginal members to help foster and develop projects that protect our waterways," Mr Ah See said.

"NSWALC is committed to promoting the cultural rights of Aboriginal peoples in NSW. Cultural fishing practices are an integral part of Aboriginal cultural, spiritual, mental and physical wellbeing.

"This partnership is a genuine opportunity for NSWALC to put forward Aboriginal views, perspectives and interests into the arenas of government policy development."