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Dugong and Marine Turtle Knowledge Handbook 2006

Author:  Dermot Smyth (Smyth and Bahrdt Consultants) with assistance and direction from the NAILSMA Dugong and Marine Turtle project team
Publication Type: 
Publication Date: 

The Dugong and Turtle Knowledge Handbook is part of a program coordinated by NAILSMA to support Indigenous groups, communities and organisations across northern Australian in managing dugong and marine turtles, including continued sustainable hunting. 

Key references are referred to in footnotes throughout the text and listed in full at the end of each chapter; the combined references from all chapters are provided at the end of the document.

Scope and content was broadly determined at the initial Dugong And Marine Turtle Management Project Workshop in Darwin in February 2005.

NAILSMA partners and the Technical reference group agreed that the handbook should comprise plain English summaries of the following information:

  • Indigenous values and knowledge of dugongs and marine turtles.
  • Knowledge and options derived from scientific research and
  • Management initiatives to protect and sustainably use dugong and marine turtle populations.

The book comprises three sections:

  • Part 1 is an introduction to the scope of Indigenous knowledge and values relating to dugong and marine turtles in Australia and provides examples from selected Indigenous groups across the north. Information presented is limited to Indigenous knowledge and values that are already in the public domain, e.g. in publications and on websites.
  • Part 2 contains an introduction to the methods used by scientists to study dugongs and marine turtles.
  • Part 2a and Part 2b include summaries of information derived from scientific research on dugongs and the six species of marine turtles living in Australian waters. Much of this information is derived from recently published technical literature reviews on dugongs and marine turtles.
  • Part 3 contains an overview of legislation, policy, conservation status and management initiatives relating to dugongs and marine turtles in Australia.