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Saltwater People Network Planning Forum 2010

The recognition that Indigenous people are best placed to manage the north's unique coastal and marine environments, have led to the creation of the Saltwater People Network. 

The inaugural planning forum for the Saltwater People Network (SPN) took place at Mount Bundy Station in the Northern Territory from 23rd to 25th of February 2010. The forum brought together Saltwater People from across the north to discuss the direction of the Saltwater People Network—a new NAILSMA project that builds on the highly successful Dugong and Marine Turtle Project.

Who attended the forum

Included were representatives from the Kimberley Land Council, Bardi Jawi Rangers, Karrajarri Rangers, Northern Land Council, li-Anthawirriyarra Sea Rangers, Thamarrurr Rangers, Dhimurru Rangers, Djelk Rangers, Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, Gangalidda/Garawa Rangers, Wellesley Islands Rangers, Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation, Lockhart Aboriginal Shire Council, Torres Strait Regional Authority and GhostNets Australia (formerley Carpentaria Ghost Nets Programme).

Participants were unanimous in their support for the future development of I-Tracker including the “I-Map” concept (the development of advanced mapping and reporting capabilities for CyberTracker data) and a revised I-Tracker program for the collection of data during saltwater country patrols.

The Djelk Rangers’ presentation on how they have used data from the I-Tracker sea country patrol program and their own CyberTracker patrol programs to manage their country was a highlight for many of the attendees.

The forum created a great platform for strengthening existing networks between the delegates and creating new ones. The attendance and participation of the GhostNets Australia (GA) at the forum, as well as their adoption of I-Tracker for the collection of ghost-nets data, further cemented the relationship between GA and the Saltwater People Network—formerly know as the Dugong and Marine Turtle Project.

Representatives from the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) also attended to discuss the significant collaborations between AQIS and NAILSMA that have resulted in a commitment to support Indigenous rangers to use I-Tracker for the collection of data for AQIS fee for service work, including marine debris and insect trapping.

This project is supported by NAILSMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country.

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