The North East Arnhem Land Coast is one of Australia’s most beautiful coastlines, virtually free from development and enjoying the custodianship of the Yolngu Aboriginal Traditional owners. However, this virtually pristine coastline is facing a significant environmental threat from marine debris washed in on the ocean currents. Discarded fishing nets, rubber footwear, empty bottles and plastic bags are all carried by these currents from throughout the South East Asian region and deposited on the Arnhem Land Coast. All of this waste is a major threat to the wildlife, as animals get caught up in the nets and choke on the rubbish.
This project aims to work alongside and under the direction of the Yolngu Aboriginal Rangers from Dhimurru Land Management as we together collect, catalogue and dispose of the marine rubbish. Dhimurru also conducts helicopter rescue flights to free marine turtles caught in ghost nets. There may be opportunities to assist in releasing marine turtles through this program depending on seasonal conditions. Not only will we be using high-tech techniques for dealing with this modern problem, but also relying on and learning from traditional Yolngu Aboriginal knowledge and understanding of the land, sea and animals.
The marine rescue project will follow the following itinerary:
- Day 1 – Arrive in Gove for community project briefing and travel to base camp,
- Day 2 to 6 – Community project work with Dhimuru rangers along coastline,
- Day 7 – Return to Gove where trip concludes.
The 7 day project includes 6 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners, permit fees, a professional guide and the services of Dhimurru rangers, 6 nights camping on a twin share basis and 4WD transport from Gove.