Livelihood values of Indigenous customary fishing

Research theme: 
Project status: 

Through cooperation with Indigenous communities from across the country, this project is collecting valuable information on the benefits that come from Indigenous people’s involvement in fishing and fisheries management. We are also supporting Indigenous fishers to conduct their own research, and to express their opinions on how to use fishing to improve the health and wellbeing of their communities.

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have looked after and been sustained by coastal waters for thousands of years, right up to the present day, developing a deep knowledge of and connection with their saltwater country. This means that there are a host of potential social, cultural, economic and health benefits which flow from allowing Indigenous fishers to provide for their communities, and to have a say in decisions that affect how their traditional resources are used.

Three community organisations are partnering with AIATSIS for this project:

  • The NSW Aboriginal Fishing Rights group, on behalf of Indigenous fishers from the NSW south coast
  • The Crocodile Islands Rangers and the Milingimbi & Outstations Progress Resource Association from the Crocodile Islands, northeast Arnhem Land
  • The Far West Coast Aboriginal Corporation, from western South Australia

This project is funded by the Indigenous Reference Group of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

Project outputs:

Participants at a community meeting between AIATSIS and the NSW Aboriginal Fishing Rights Group, Bingie, south coast NSW, September 2015

Participants at a community meeting between AIATSIS and the NSW Aboriginal Fishing Rights Group Bingie, south coast NSW, September 2015


Location of our three community partners on this project

Research team


Last reviewed: 10 Dec 2018