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Caught in the tides: the (re)development of a trepang (sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra) industry at Warruwi, Northern Territory

Gould, Jackie (2016). Caught in the tides: the (re)development of a trepang (sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra) industry at Warruwi, Northern Territory. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries,26(4):617-628.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 81144320xPUB126
Title Caught in the tides: the (re)development of a trepang (sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra) industry at Warruwi, Northern Territory
Author Gould, Jackie
Journal Name Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries
Publication Date 2016
Volume Number 26
Issue Number 4
ISSN 1573-5184   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84944707253
Start Page 617
End Page 628
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Field of Research 0704 - Fisheries Sciences
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract From at least the late 1700s, Indigenous people from the West Arnhem region of the Northern Territory (Australia) engaged with Macassan trepang (sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra) traders, who visited the coastline each wet season. A Methodist Mission was established at Warruwi, in West Arnhem Land, in 1916. The Mission actively participated in the collection and sale of trepang, and the industry continued through the twentieth century in a changed form. Over recent decades the trade has been dominated by an interstate commercial operator with no Indigenous involvement. This paper outlines past and present engagements in the trepang industry by the Indigenous residents of the remote community of Warruwi. It discusses contemporary efforts to develop a community-based small-scale trepang fishery and the challenges faced in doing so. Trepang is seen as linking people’s past to their futures, and the development of a trepang enterprise is seen as a way to draw on important sea country and kin based relationships whilst contributing to a secure and sustainable future. A number of gains have been made towards these ends. But as in previous eras, the nature of the industry reflects its contemporary context and the opportunities and challenges this presents. Capacity and legal issues present obstacles characteristic of the difficulties Indigenous Australian communities face in leveraging the resources necessary to undertake local development initiatives.
Keywords Indigenous
Marine resources
Aquaculture
Community development
Australia
Sea country
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11160-015-9400-3   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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Created: Tue, 26 Jul 2016, 12:35:15 CST