Traditional Use of Marine Resource Agreement.
In December 2005, Girringun traditional owners signed the first ever such agreement in Australia for the management of traditional hunting of protected species in the greater Hinchinbrook Island area. This agreement was subsequently accredited by the GBRMPA (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority) and the EPA (Environment Protection Authority). Implementation of the agreement is steered by the Girringun TUMRA Steering Committee which can be contacted through this organisation.
TUMRA established a formal agreement between Saltwater Traditional Owners, GBRMPA (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority) and QPWS (Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service) and how collectively Traditional Owners manage traditional take of turtles and dugong.
Turtle and Dugong Monitoring.
Under the TUMRA, Girringun community members agreed to a moratorium on dugong hunting and a limited take of marine turtle with hunting being limited to specified hunting areas.
In the interests of the conservation of, and sustainability of traditional hunting for dugong and the various marine turtle species, Girringun has become involved in the research efforts to gather data on the habitat areas, including the locations, extent and monitoring of seagrass beds, seagrass species, and the numbers and general locations of turtles and dugongs, particularly within the dugong protection area (DPA) around Hinchinbrook and Goold Islands.
Girringun Rangers along with QPWS Rangers and other stakeholders received training by Dr. Jane Mellors in sea grass monitoring methods at Goold Island. Training included species identification, survey design and data interpretation. Each ranger group (Ingham Cardwell and Innisfail) have been supplied with their own sea grass survey kits. The data to date is being kept with Seagrass Watch for wider use.
Further training on turtle ecology was conducted at Mon Repos in December 2007 with Dr. Col Limpus. Through this two people from the Girringun area were invited to participate in a two week trip to Milman Island off northern Cape York as research assistants. Through this trip one of the Girringun participants found further employment.
In September 1009 Girringun also participated in a “turtle rodeo” along with Traditional Owners from Gudjada and Giru Dala. This trip included training in the capture of turtles for tagging, in shallow water using boats One turtle, named Sarah Murri, had a satellite tracking tag attached to her back to track her movements over time. Her tag data and therefore her movements are available for public viewing on www.seaturtle.org.
Training opportunities have required attendees to present to DERM staff, Girringun corporation staff and associates and also present at Hinchinbrook and Mission Beach LMAC meetings. These meetings have been attended by stakeholder groups such as DPIF and GBRMPA. Girringun Aboriginal Corporation efficiently communicated TUMRA issues and arrangements with stakeholders at the Girringun Steering Committee meeting. This provided a formalised avenue for local user groups and regulatory bodies to discuss resource management issues for the local region.