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TSRA Torres Strait Dugong and Marine Turtle Project Governance & Policy Review 2007

Author:  Paul Havemann & Rebecca Smith
Publication Type: 
Publication Date: 

Review of dugong and turtle fisheries legislation and policy in Torres Strait

This legal review looks at the current laws and policies relating to the dugong and turtle fisheries in Torres Strait and identify opportunities and obstacles to support a community-based approach to managing fisheries.  

Unlike anywhere else in Australia, dugong and turtle are considered as fisheries in Torres Strait.
The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) is currently supporting the involvement of eight Torres Strait communities in the NAILSMA Dugong and Turtle Project.
A primary aim of the Torres Strait Regional Activity Plan is to develop management plans that define how these species should be looked after in the region.
Community-based involvement and planning of the dugong and turtle management in Torres Strait allows each island community to shape the way that hunting and harvest in that community is carried out. At the heart of community-based management is the principle that those people affected by decisions should participate directly in the decision making process. Community based management means that all community members, including women, elders, youth and hunters have the opportunity to decide how the plans are made and how they will be carried out.
The review was conducted by James Cook University School of Law, with input from internationally acclaimed staff in dugong and turtle research as well as members of the TSRA.
The full title of the legal review is Desk Top Review: Current Legislation and Policy Conducive to Sustainable Community Management of Dugong and Turtle Traditional Fisheries in the Torres Strait.