Australian Marine Parks

Literature review on Indigenous connection to and uses of the North-west Marine Region. Dr Dermot Smyth, Smyth Bahrdt and Associates. Prepared for the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, July 2007.


Aims of the Literature review on Indigenous connections and uses

The aim of the literature review is to provide an overview of Indigenous peoples’ relationships with the marine environments of the North West Marine Bioregional Planning Region.

The overview is based largely on publicly available information from books, journals and websites, with some additional information provided voluntarily by, and used with the consent of, Indigenous organisations from the region.

While the emphasis is on Indigenous connections to, use of and management of marine environments and resources within Commonwealth waters, the review inevitably includes mention of Indigenous interests in state waters and coastal land, consistent with Indigenous people’s holistic views of Sea Country (see Section 2).

The literature review will be used to inform the Regional Profile, but will also be published as a stand-alone document for use as an information source by Indigenous communities and organisations, government agencies, marine resource users and others.

Research for the literature review was conducted through library and internet searches, supplemented by visits and telephone contact with some Indigenous and other organisations in the north-west.

The following literature reviews were prepared during the regional marine planning processes for the South-east, South-west and Northern Marine Bioregional Planning Regions and were published as the following documents:

  • National Oceans Office (2002) Sea Country an Indigenous perspective. Assessment report for the National Oceans Office, Hobart
  • National Oceans Office (2004) Living on Saltwater Country review of literature about Aboriginal rights, use, management and interests in northern Australian marine environments (2004). Background Paper, National Oceans Office, Hobart
  • Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (2006) Sea Countries of the South: Indigenous interests and connections within the South West Marine Region of Australia. Unpublished report to the National Oceans Office.

A literature review on Indigenous interests in the East Marine Region is currently in preparation.