Coastal conflicts and reciprocal relations: encounters between Yolngu people and commercial fishermen in Blue Mud Bay, north-east Arnhem Land

Barber, Marcus (2010) Coastal conflicts and reciprocal relations: encounters between Yolngu people and commercial fishermen in Blue Mud Bay, north-east Arnhem Land. Australian Journal of Anthropology, 21 (3). pp. 298-314.

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Abstract

For centuries, the residents of Blue Mud Bay, the residents of Blue Mud Bay, the Djalkiripuyngu,1 have encountered seafarers landing on their shores, and contacts with these visitors have varied in their regularity, intensity and amity. Currently, the most frequent non-indigenous seafarers are the professional crab and barramundi fishermen who extract resources from the local estuaries. The crab fishermen are recent migrants from Southeast Asia and some sign royalty contracts for access to Aboriginal land to transport their crabs, whilst the wealthy and politically powerful Anglo-Australian barramundi fishermen operate from large boats, do not need land access, and reject formal agreements. Djalkiripuyngu engagements with these respective visitors are shaped by Australian laws and by the different histories, ethnicities, access to power and depths of attachment to places between the various parties. The Djalkiripuyngu have consistently asserted ownership over the coastal seas adjacent to their lands and, in an important recent decision, have had one aspect of that ownership legally endorsed.2 Yet struggles for control over local seas demonstrate more than principles of indigenous and wider Australian law. They also reflect the wider history of Northern Australia, the pitfalls and possibilities of encounters between indigenous Australians and recent migrants, and an array of contemporary Australian identities.

Item ID: 16632
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: coastal conflicts and reciprocal relations; north-east Arnhem Land
ISSN: 1757-6547
Date Deposited: 06 May 2011 06:01
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960903 Coastal and Estuarine Water Management @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 1
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