Sustainable harvest of marine turtles and dugongs in Australia
A national partnership approach 2005
Department of the Environment and Heritage, November 2005
- Sustainable harvest of marine turtles and dugongs in Australia - A national partnership approach 2005 (PDF - 57 KB)
About the approach
The Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council (NRMMC) endorsed "Sustainable Harvest of Marine Turtles and Dugongs in Australia - A National Partnership Approach 2005" at its October 2005 meeting.
In 2003 the NRMMC expressed concern for the long-term sustainability of turtle and dugong in northern Australia. It identified the need for a nationally coordinated approach to sustainable levels of Indigenous harvest of dugong and turtle and referred the matter to the NRM Standing Committee Marine and Coastal Committee (MACC). The MACC Taskforce on Turtle and Dugong Populations was established to develop a nationally coordinated response to the issue of sustainable harvest of dugong and turtle.
A draft Approach was issued to facilitate public consultation and over 30 submissions from individuals and organisations were received. As a result of these submissions the draft was substantially revised and sent to the NRMMC for it's consideration.
At its 2005 October meeting, the NRMMC endorsed the 'National Partnership Approach' which contains 5 goals supported by a number of objectives and also outlines possible activities that could be used to implement it. These goals are:
- Improve the information base available to Indigenous communities for managing the sustainable harvest of turtles and dugongs
- Respect for Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge and management
- Improve education and awareness
- Identify the economic, social and cultural factors that may contribute to unsustainable harvest levels and identify and implement measures to address them
- Protecting sea country resources
A key element of the 'Partnership Approach' is the proposed Partnership body which is expected to:
- assist in achieving the best possible uptake of the 'Partnership Approach';
- encourage ownership of it by Indigenous communities; and
- most significantly, oversight the further development, implementation and review of it by formally including involvement of the groups most affected by actions to improve the sustainability of Indigenous harvest of turtles and dugongs.
The NRMMC also agreed to the following text being incorporated in its Communiqué:
'The Approach provides a basis for further work to ensure that harvest of turtles and dugongs is sustainable by outlining how governments and Indigenous communities can work more closely together to increase the effectiveness of the protection and conservation of dugongs and turtles. The Approach is also intended to contribute to the conservation of turtles and dugong and ensure the important economic, spiritual and cultural relationships Indigenous people have with these animals are maintained for future generations.'
A Partnership body is currently being established which will include representatives from, Indigenous communities and relevant State, Territory and Australian Governments agencies. The Partnership body will replace the MACC Taskforce which developed the draft Approach, and will play an important role in building momentum on the further development and implementation of the Approach.