Illegal foreign fishing - Indigenous rangers trial 


Portfolio: Attorney-General's (Australian Customs Service)


Why is this important?


  • Illegal fishing poses serious biosecurity risks, depletes Australia's fish stocks and degrades marine protected areas.
  • The Indigenous Rangers Pilot Programme will test the ability to detect and respond to illegal foreign fishing vessel incursions through cooperative programmes with Indigenous communities set up by the Western Australian and Northern Territory Governments.
  • Indigenous rangers will patrol the remote coasts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory increasing the surveillance and apprehension of illegal foreign fishers.

Who will benefit?


  • The Bardi-Jawi Community (WA) and Bawinanga Community (NT) will benefit from this Government initiative. Two rangers in each community will be employed and provided with training and equipment to patrol the Australian coastline. The Indigenous rangers will strengthen Customs' ability to detect and respond to illegal foreign fishing vessel incursions.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?


  • The Government will provide $623,000 in 2006-07 to pilot the Indigenous Rangers Pilot Programme.

What have we done in the past?


  • The Australian Government has made a major investment to tackle illegal foreign fishing in Australian waters.

When will the initiative conclude?


  • The Indigenous Rangers Pilot Programme will conclude at the end of 2006-07. If the programme is successful, the Government will consider further funding to allow the programme to continue.

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