Crossing Borders: Implications of the Memorandum of Understanding on fishing activity of Bajo (Tukang Besi Island) in northern Australian waters

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Abstract

The 1974 Memorandum ofUnderstanding (MOU) between Australia and Indonesia was a goodwill attempt to recognise the long-standing interests of Indonesian fishennen in the northern Australian region. Bajo originating from the villages of Mola and Mantigola in the Tukang Besi Islands, South-east Sulawesi, are one group of fishermen who have an historic interest in the region and currently operate in and around the MOU area. This paper examines the effectiveness of the MOU in providing for recognition of indigenous Bajo fishing rights, sustainable marine resource conservation and management, and in curbing illegal Bajo fishing activity in the Australian Fishing Zone. An analysis of the key concept of 'traditional' fishing encapsulated in the 1974 MOU shows it to be problematic with direct and far-reachingconsequences for Bajo fishennen. It is argued that until the problems of the MOU are addressed, by way of new arrangements incorporating a more culturally informed inclusive approach with respect to traditional Indonesian fishermen, other Australian policy responses to address illegal activity and marine resource conservation in the AFZ will beundermined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages229-234
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationThe Beagle, records of the Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

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