First Nations rangers from across the Top End are learning valuable and practical skills as they are trained to become certified in fisheries compliance, through a course providing meaningful training and career pathways.
Based in Batchelor, it is the first time that Charles Darwin University (CDU) is running the Certificate III in Fisheries Compliance course.
The program will host marine rangers from across the Top End, mainly from Maningrida, Wadeye, Yirrkala and Bulgul, to upskill them for potential fisheries inspector roles along the Northern Territory coastline.
Rangers will learn about legislation and how to monitor fish catches for legal compliance, record fishing operations and exercise compliance powers, as well as routine communication and administrative tasks.
CDU Maritime Training Coordinator and Lecturer Paul Williams is one of the trainers in the program and said industry expertise was a key feature.
“We’re providing industry connections and qualifications to enhance marine management in the Top End, working closely with NT Fisheries and Water Police to deliver these important units of study,” Mr Williams said.
“First Nations rangers are invited to share their own knowledge and management processes with industry trainers, so that we’re working together as a team to improve overall fisheries compliance in the Territory.”
The course will run over a year in four, one-week theory blocks, with hands-on training and monitoring in between. Mr Williams said the course supported vital First Nations knowledge about marine management practices.
“Marine rangers already have unique knowledge when it comes to fishing practices on Country,” he said.
“The certificate is a fantastic opportunity that provides pathways for developing and using fisheries compliance skills within the community but also across the Territory.”
CDU Deputy Vice-Chancellor of First Nations Leadership Professor Reuben Bolt said the course aligns with CDU’s Indigenous Leadership Strategy to develop programs that build First Nations capacity and community engagement.
“Regional outreach and engagement programs with First Nations communities, industry and governments continue to strengthen CDU’s partnerships across the Territory, while fostering better education outcomes in a variety of subject areas,” Professor Bolt said.
“This training program will provide First Nations rangers with a skill set that not only helps their job prospects but gives back to their communities in sustainable and effective management of natural resources.”
NT Minister for Agribusiness and Fisheries Paul Kirby said the course would add an important step in educating marine rangers and ultimately the wider community about important fisheries legislation.
“This course will provide important steps to develop and improve our fisheries sector, and will ensure essential knowledge is shared to our marine rangers, who provide a key role in protecting and maintaining a high quality in our fisheries,” he said.
“Upskilling and teaching our rangers about the processes and legislation around fishing and fisheries will create a better fishing environment for all Territorians and visitors to the Territory.”
The Certificate III in Fisheries Compliance is provided in a joint training initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments.