Our Marine Parks Round Two-Tapping into the knowledge of professional fishers to inform research and management of sawfish and river sharks

  • Winchester, Katherine (Principal Investigator/Chief Investigator A)
  • Stacey, Natasha (Co Investigator/Chief Investigator B)
  • Udyawer, Vinay (Co Investigator/Chief Investigator B)

Project: Research

Project Details


Northern Australia is one of the few places left in the world with sawfish and river shark populations, making it a key priority to protect them. A major challenge is the lack of information on current populations, which limits the ability to develop effective management strategies. Northern Territory Seafood Council (NTSC) is partnering with community and livelihoods researcher A/Prof Natasha Stacey from Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University (CDU) and Dr Vinay Udyawer from the Australian Institute of Marine Sciences (AIMS) to undertake interviews with commercial fishers as part of a new project.

Through their time at sea, professional fishers obtain important knowledge of the occurrence, seasonal presence and long-term changes through their encounters with Threatened and Endangered and Protected Species. Knowledge from fishers engaged in the NT Barramundi Fishery and Offshore Net and Line Fishery was identified as one of the key pieces of information lacking for the development of a management plan for sawfish and river sharks in Northern Australia.

The objective of this project is to improve current knowledge of the occurrence of sawfish (Pristis spp.) and river sharks (Glyphis spp.) in fishing grounds of the NT through recording commercial fishers’ knowledge about species in interviews. This information will be used to inform sampling and tagging of species in coastal and estuarine areas of the NT.

The project will assist with delivery of new information to inform decision making, whilst also building relationships, between fishers, social and natural science researchers, industry and fishery managers and shared understanding and knowledge of sawfish and river sharks.

More information about the project can be found via the Northern Territory Seafood Council Inc website [www.ntsc.com.au] or contact [email protected] or Natasha Stacey at Charles Darwin University([email protected]).

Effective start/end date1/07/20 → 30/05/24


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