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Tiwi Marine Rangers

The Tiwi Marine Ranger Program, which commenced in 2001, was the first Indigenous Marine Ranger Program in the Northern Territory. The program was developed in response to Traditional Owners wanting a more active role in sea country management. There were concerns about illegal fishing, the arrival of foreign vessels, and management of the internationally significant nesting sites for sea turtles, seabird rookeries and shorebird populations on the islands. The Tiwi program was so successful that it became the model for other Marine Ranger Programs across the Top End of the NT.

Marine Ranger activities include coastal surveillance patrols, marine debris surveys, monitoring of sea turtle nesting and Crested Tern rookeries, visitor site management and raising community awareness about marine debris. The Rangers provide input on coastal and marine management issues with all stakeholders to protect the high natural and cultural values of the region. A range of projects have been developed to investigate coastal processes, and restore and rehabilitate damaged areas. A number of monitoring sites have provided a rate of coastal regression, and results are being used for future community planning.  The Rangers are also part of a collaborative project with the NT Government investigating the viability of growing Black Lip Oysters (Intada margerafida) to commercial size on the Melville Island coast.

The Tiwi Marine Rangers have attained international standard accredited Coxswain qualifications, and hold positions on Territory and national committees and advisory groups. They have been trained by NT Fisheries to undertake regulatory activities under the NT Fisheries Act, and currently hold Certificates in Fisheries Compliance.

Awards won by the Tiwi Marine Rangers include the NT Landcare Award, Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices Category (2015), an Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service Commendation for Outstanding Service to Quarantine (2005), a NT Coastcare Award (2004), and the NT Regional Quarantine Award (2003).

The Tiwi Marine Rangers offer a fee-for-service for work such as threatened species assessments and providing field assistance for visiting researchers, including vehicle, vessel, and equipment hire. They also work with the Tiwi Land Rangers on a range of natural resource management activities. For further information about services and quotes please contact the Tiwi Land Council.

View the Ranger Photo Gallery and Marine Ranger Video to see the Tiwi Marine Rangers at work.