NLC Rangers among first NT Fisheries Inspectors

Date: Jun 1, 2018

Subject: Caring for Country

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Two NLC rangers are among the first six Indigenous Rangers in the Northern Territory to become Fisheries Inspectors.

Rob Lindsay and Aaron Green from NLC’s Malak Malak Rangers were appointed Fisheries Inspectors in May, giving them powers to monitor recreational and commercial fishing activity along the Daly River and ensure fishers are complying with the NT Fisheries Act. 

Malak Malak ranger Aaron Green said he was proud to be one of the first six to receive the accreditation.

“Proud moment to actually become fishers inspector. We understand we’ve got bigger responsibility not only for ourselves but to keep it going for the future too,” said Malak Malak Ranger Aaron Green.

“We’ve got limited powers but we can actually check on bag limits, size limits, and also check the fishing gear and ask for names and addresses.”

Mr Green said while they were already monitoring prawn traps on the Daly River, this certification means he now has the power to better look after his country. 

“There are some illegal ones, some fishermen doing the wrong thing. Now we can actually take their details and send it back to the Water Police.”

The change should come as no surprise to recreational and commercial fishers on the Daly River as Malak Malak rangers have been heading out with Fisheries and Water Police over the last few years to educate tourists about the change.

“Some of them are really happy for Indigenous rangers to be doing this,” said Mr Green. “Some are probably not, but we’ve got to look after the place and Water Police can’t always be out there.”

“Being locals in our area, we know the river a fair bit, so we can actually get information out at a certain time on what time they’re fishing.” 

Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Ken Vowles presented the rangers with their certificates at a ceremony in Darwin on 18 May. 

He said at the ceremony: “I want to see this program grow. I want to be standing here welcoming others. You should feel proud.” 

“These roles protect our fish stocks, help Aboriginal Territorians manage their country and provide career progression opportunities for rangers in remote regions.”  

A total of 160 rangers across the NT have completed their Certificate I and II in Fisheries Compliance and will continue their training in order to join these rangers. 

“We’re actually looking forward to putting our only female ranger through the next Cert III,” said Mr Green. 
He plans to continue training to become a Fisheries Officer. Mr Green said being a ranger was a great job that brought variety to everyday work. 

“You’re always doing something different, you’re always doing something new. Sometimes some of the stuff we do is actually the first of its kind. To become the first six fisheries inspectors in the Territory, makes me proud.”