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Native Title Tribunal welcomes new fishing principles

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 23 December 2004

The National Native Title Tribunal says a new set of fishing principles should ensure Indigenous interests are not the last to be dealt with in fisheries development.

The principles were formed by a national Indigenous fishing body made up of several groups including the commercial and recreational sectors.

The tribunal's John Catlin says there needs to be greater recognition of Indigenous rights such as customary fishing and the allocation of resources.

"Where as elsewhere in the world there's been a lot higher recognition of a basic Indigenous right to fish and particularly places like New Zealand and parts of Canada, there's been a realisation that just basic subsistence fishing has to be protected alongside the rights of everyone else," he said.

"The commercial fishing industry's sick to death of litigation, they don't want to spend more money on court cases and arguments in, you know, in the Federal Court about native title rights but they are much more interested in working with Aboriginal people to see community development take place, to build partnerships with them on commercial development."

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