Sea Ranger Workshop
Crab Claw Island is set to host the Territory’s first ever Sea Ranger Workshop to be coordinated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) this week.
The two-day workshop, starting tomorrow, is the final part of the Conservation Status of Coastal Dolphins in the Northern Territory project.
The project is part of an offset program developed by the Northern Territory Government through DENR’s Flora and Fauna division made possible due to funding received from the INPEX-led Ichthys LNG Project.
DENR marine mammals senior scientist, Dr Carol Palmer, said the workshop would bring together 13 sea ranger groups, senior traditional owners, Parks and Wildlife Commission rangers and several DENR staff from across the Territory.
Dr Palmer said the overall plan for the workshop is to present cultural and scientific information on marine megafauna (dolphins, sea turtles, dugongs) and identify issues, priorities and plan how to best work towards managing marine animals in the Territory.
“The Territory has some of the most unique and pristine marine environments in the world, inhabited by majestic dolphins, dugongs and sea turtles,” Dr Palmer said.
“It’s vital that we protect these magnificent megafauna from human-induced threats such as fishing lines, ghost nets, rubbish and boats.
“This workshop brings together many of those Territorians who have a key interest and are stakeholders in managing our marine environments to be enjoyed by present and future generations.
“It is important to combine science with cultural information and to communicate song lines and language names to promote a better understanding of management practices and issues faced by each stakeholder.
“Presentations will include surveys undertaken by the Territory Government and a group discussion of the results.
“Some of the result findings include identification of important megafauna habitat and population numbers and movements across much of the Top end.
“We sincerely thank INPEX for its tremendous support and contribution towards our scientific research that has significantly increased our knowledge and understanding of marine megafauna in Top End waters.”
The Sea Ranger Workshop will be held on 16 and 17 March 2017.
Anyone who comes across sick or injured marine wildlife are urged to notify Marine WildWatch by calling 1800 453 941.