Traditional fishing

Artwork by Shara Delaney, a Quandamooka woman and a descendant of Granny Mibu and Neli Nidgeri, born at Pulan (Amity), strong Noonuccal and Goenpul women. The Noonuccal, Ngugi and Goenpul people are the Traditional Custodians of Quandamooka. They are also known as Yoolooburrabee, the people of the sand and sea.

Fisheries Queensland acknowledges the importance of traditional fishing as a significant cultural activity for Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders.

Under the Fisheries Act 1994, traditional fishing applies in Queensland when:

  • the taking, using or keeping of the fisheries resources is for the purpose of satisfying a personal, domestic or non-commercial communal need of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people
  • it is carried out in accordance with the particular traditional laws and customs of native title holders or Traditional Owners of the area being fished
  • those Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, by their laws and customs, have a connection with the land or waters.

This definition is consistent with the federal Native Title Act 1993. It recognises that traditional fishing may vary from group to group, and that traditional ways of fishing evolve over time and may include modern methods and materials.

Note: Traditional hunting of dugongs and turtles is not managed under the Fisheries Act 1994. Enquiries should be directed to the Department of Environment and Science and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.