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Fishing Lifestyles: ‘Territorians’, Traditional Owners and the Management of Recreational Fishing in Kakadu National Park

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Abstract

The relationships between traditional Aboriginal land owners and other Park users in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory are characterised by competing agendas and competing ideas about appropriate ways of relating to the environment. Similarly, the management of recreational fishing in the Park is permeated by the tensions and opposition of contested ideas and perspectives from non-Aboriginal fishers and Aboriginal traditional owners. The local know-ledge and rights of ‘Territorians’[non-Aboriginal Northern Territory residents] are continually pitted against the local knowledge and rights of Aboriginal traditional owners. Under these circumstances, debates between non-Aboriginal fishers and Aboriginal traditional owners are overwhelmingly dominated by the unequal power relationships created through an alliance between science and the State. The complex and multi-dimensional nature of Aboriginal traditional owners’ concerns for country renders these concerns invisible or incomprehensible to government, science and non-Aboriginal fishers who are each guided by very different epistemic commitments. It is a state of affairs that leaves the situated knowledge of Aboriginal traditional owners with a limited authority in the non-Aboriginal domain and detracts from their ability to manage and care for their homelands.

ACRONYMS

AFANT Amateur Fishermen's Association of the Northern Territory

ALRA Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Cth)

ANCA Australian Nature Conservation Agency

ANPWS Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service

KNPBoM Kakadu National Park Board of Management
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Keywords: Aborigines; Recreational fishing; joint management; national parks; natural resource management; nature

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Melbourne, Australia

Publication date: 2004-03-01

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