Concerns remain about cultural fishing regulation

17 February 2016 

Concerns remain about cultural fishing regulation

The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) remains concerned about a proposed State Government's Regulation that will place restrictions on Aboriginal people's cultural fishing.

Late last year, NSWALC and NTSCORP made a joint submission to the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

The submission was informed by concerns raised by the community during consultations held around the State last year.

The NSWALC/NTSCORP position is:

  • That the draft Regulations are unnecessary, inappropriate and an inadequate framework for Aboriginal cultural fishing in NSW
  • The possession limits proposed are inflexible and do not recognise that cultural fishing takes place for customary reasons, for Elders, the incapacitated, and other community members, and that catch sizes would need to be increased 
  • Proposed bag limits in the draft Regulation have been reduced from the limits in the current interim policy for Aboriginal cultural fishers. (see /newsroom/network-messages/aboriginal-cultural-fishing.aspx)
  • Section 21AA of the Fisheries Management Act 1994 should commence immediately and operate without being subject to regulations
  • Where there are concerns about the sustainability of certain species, and that certain activities may not be in line with cultural fishing, these could be dealt with through setting specific parameters developed in consultation with Aboriginal Peoples

Current status

The NSW Government has not released any responses to submissions.

NSWALC is concerned that the NSW Government will implement a deeply flawed Regulation that won't allow Aboriginal people to practice cultural fishing and will limit the ability of Aboriginal people to practice cultural fishing.

NSWALC encourages LALCs to contact the Minister directly to raise concerns about the proposed Regulation. The Minister's contact details are: https://www.nsw.gov.au/ministercontactform/minister-blair