Ngalpun adhabath a goeygayil bangal (our sea, our future): an examination of Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority principles and Torres Strait Islander needs and aspirations for the Torres Strait fisheries, from a Torres Strait Islander perspective

Loban, Frank (2007) Ngalpun adhabath a goeygayil bangal (our sea, our future): an examination of Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority principles and Torres Strait Islander needs and aspirations for the Torres Strait fisheries, from a Torres Strait Islander perspective. Masters (Research) thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People: Articles 18, 23 and 26, states that an Indigenous person has the right to participate fully at all levels of decision making in matters which may affect their lives, they have the right to develop strategies for economic gains, and the right to own, develop, control and use of their lands including waters and coastal seas (Human Rights Council, 2006). Zenadhaw Mabaygka (Torres Strait Islanders) are traditional owners of the islands and seas that are located between the most northern point of Kie Daudai (Australia) and the western coast of Migi Daudai (Papua New Guinea). Occupation of the islands and seas in Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait) by Zenadhaw Mabaygka dates back almost 3000 years (Carter,2004). Their traditional knowledge of their environment has evolved over the generations.

The current fishery governance regime in the Zenadh Kes, the Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority or PZJA has a policy of maximizing the opportunities for Zenadhaw Mabaygka participation in all sectors of the fishing industry, and has limited non-islander participation in the Zenadh wapiw (Torres Strait fisheries). Since 1985 the PZJA has prevented further expansion by this group through the requirement that non-islanders must purchase an existing license to gain access to the fishery (PZJA Annual Report, 2002: 8). Growth in the Zenadh wapiw, where there is scope for expansion, has been reserved exclusively for Zenadhaw Mabaygka. However, Zenadhaw Mabaygka participation in the actual governance structure, where management decisions are made for the Zenadh wapiw, is that of an advisory role, not a decision-making role.

Zenadhaw Mabaygka has an advisory role in the current fishery governance regime through the PZJA. The PZJA was established under the Torres Strait Treaty 1984 No. 4.This Treaty was negotiated between Kie Daudai and Migi Daudai in 1978 and ratified into Kie Daudai law in 1985. The Treaty recognizes the importance of protecting the traditional way of life as well as the livelihood of Zenadhaw Mabaygka. However, it fails to secure equal power and benefit sharing for its primary stakeholders, Zenadhaw Mabaygka. This principle is reflected throughout relevant Kie Daudai legislation and the PZJA.

My thesis argues that the contemporary logic of this Treaty commitment to protect the way of life as well as the livelihood of Zenadhaw Mabaygka requires a governance regime that guarantees benefit sharing and that this guarantee can only be achieved through power sharing. Today the way of life and livelihoods of Zenadhaw Mabaygka must involve them fully in both traditional as well as the commercial fisheries. To reflect contemporary economic reality and Zenadhaw Mabaygka aspirations the present governance regime requires a re-arrangement of governance mechanisms, a re- articulation of the guiding principles and a modest amendment to the enabling rules. The re-arrangements are needed to empower authentic participation in power sharing through decision-making processes that will accommodate Zenadhaw Mabaygka as key actors in the regime by acknowledging them as in the principal stakeholders in the fisheries.

Item ID: 4829
Item Type: Thesis (Masters (Research))
Keywords: Torres Strait Protected Zone Joint Authority, fisheries management, native title, land rights legislation, sea rights, governance, Zenadhaw Mabaygka
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2009 05:34
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070403 Fisheries Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830299 Fisheries- Wild Caught not elsewhere classified @ 33%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950304 Conserving Intangible Cultural Heritage @ 33%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950305 Conserving Natural Heritage @ 34%
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