Proposed Tiwi Islands lock-out angers NT fishos

A PROPOSAL by the Northern Territory based Tiwi Land Council to lock recreational fishers out of the northern half of the Tiwi Islands’ waters has angered anglers in the region.

According to ABC news, the Council has temporarily stopped granting permits in the area while it negotiates a deal to give exclusive fishing rights to three lodges established on Melville and Bathurst Islands.

More details:§ion=news

Council executive manager Andrew Tipungwuti says almost $7 million has been invested into the businesses.

“It is a big investment for the Tiwis and we need to exercise that right to have exclusivity for those who want to come out here,” he said.

Amateur Fishermen’s Association of the Northern Territory (AFANT) spokesman Warren de With says fishers already contribute to the Tiwi Islands’ economy.

“We are paying $100 to go over there to go fishing, plus we are also paying for a camping permit,” he said.

Mr Tipungwuti says the council expects the backing of Territory authorities.

“We are hoping that government will respect the decision of the land owners,” he said.

“Come on board with the Tiwi land owners and say, ‘look, if you want to come over here, well, go through the appropriate channels or go through the appropriate fishing lodges’.”

AFANT executive officer Craig Ingram says the move sets a dangerous precedent.

“I think it just will become very, very difficult for government to negotiate when one traditional owner group is putting an idea out there like this, that they will take the highest bidder, basically, to access their land,” he said.

“I think it overrides, or potentially overrides, the ability of government to manage fisheries.”

But Fisheries Minister Willem Westra Van Holthe says he does not think the Tiwi plan will set a precedent for other areas.

He says the Government will continue to negotiate with other traditional owners to finalise fishing access to waters around Aboriginal land.

According to Darwin’s NT News the plan has greatly upset local anglers:

What's your reaction?

Related Posts

Load More Posts Loading...No More Posts.