PAMA Fishing

Since the 1800s, fishing is a way and part of life of Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders– it has been their traditional heritage and culture.  Today Indigenous Australians have limited rights to fish in their own sea country and  fishing opportunities are now minimal for them because over the years Governments have introduced policies and legislations granting more favourable commercial fishing terms to non- Indigenous groups enabling to fish on Indigenous traditional sea country.

Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander peoples want their young people to get back in into the fishing culture  which is their traditional heritage.  We support Traditional Owners and the clan groups by helping them to explore how our people can start developing local fishing enterprises in Northern Australia and on Cape York Peninsula sea country.   

Our challenge is to encourage our people, especially our young people,  and to resource them to get into back into our tradition of fishing.  We are working with our clan groups and investigating ways of initiating small fishing projects which we help to build on to become stable businesses. 

The Government has to recognise that Indigenous people fishing activities and open the door for us.  First Nations people should have the first right to protect their land and sea countries.

Research reports indicate that we have 11.3 million hectare on the Cape and only 3% is of the fishing community.   55% are allotted to commercial and 42% to recreational fishing.  We want to form a road map that will build Indigenous entrepreneurship in the fishing industry, challenge families and grassroots organisations to collectively nurture our young people to fish, to protect our country and our interests.  We want to empower our Torres Straits and Indigenous peoples in Cape York regions to be involved in the fishing industry, to develop markets, explore distribution channels, build strong support networks that provide a platform to help the young people grow and to create a healthy fishing industry for our future generations.

Today we have a vision to work together to develop a business plan that will turn fishing to be part of our culture and heritage again.


PAMA Rangers Network

Indigenous Rangers on Cape York Peninsula plays a significant role in management and care for their country specifically in conservation of native species, and applying traditional knowledge methodology in preservation of their country heritage. Cape York Indigenous leaders are advocating a single coordinated ranger program on Cape York Peninsula that will improve service deliveries and generate better outcomes for economic development and social wellbeing.  This model presents a single point of administration for funding and streamline management processes which will regulate consistency in the service.  Balkanu is working with Traditional Elders, regional organisations and Ranger groups throughout Cape York communities to further investigate, analyse possibilities for a coordinated effort that will enable sustainable economic, social and cultural development.  The aim is to establish a core Ranger Network that will provide a platform for exchange of information and enhancement of skills as well as knowledge for sub-regional and Traditional Owner group rangers to effectively manage the natural and cultural resources of Indigenous lands.

Your support is greatly appreciated

Help us help the Cape York community.