Top End fishos’ sigh of relief as Blue Mud Bay waiver extended until mid-2019

Updated December 04, 2018 17:11:50

Photo: There is a dispute over mining interests in Blue Mud Bay in east Arnhem Land. (Supplied: Google Maps)

A decision over whether or not to impose fishing permits onto a vast tract of Aboriginal-owned Northern Territory coastline has been delayed once more, with a waiver extended until June 2019.

Key points: Territory anglers can continue fishing in Aboriginal waters The Sea Country Working Group have voiced anger at the NLC executive council The announcement has been welcomed by the Government and fishing groups

The highly-charged Blue Mud Bay negotiations came to a crux at a closed door Northern Land Council (NLC) meeting at Lee Point Village Resort today, where the Full Council finally made the call to extend permit-free access until next year.

The issue stems from the High Court’s Blue Mud Bay decision a decade ago, which gave traditional owners exclusive access rights to intertidal zones over Aboriginal land.

Interim NLC chief Rick Fletcher said the council had accepted the NT Government’s offer of $10 million to go towards Indigenous fisheries projects for the interim, and that negotiations for a longer-term plan would continue in the coming months.