Aboriginal management of Sea Country

Aboriginal ranger installing a warning sign to protect shorebird nesting sites

Aboriginal Sea Ranger, Troylene Parsons, helping protect shorebird nesting sites. Photo credit Chris Sheedy.


Aboriginal people have held a special connection to Sea Country for thousands of years. Over this time, they have effectively managed and cared for Sea Country to ensure it remains a sustainable resource to be shared.

This action involves Aboriginal community members in a range of activities that directly affects the health of the marine estate. These Caring for Sea Country activities are being delivered along the NSW coast and includes undertaking marine debris clean up, native plant revegetation and monitoring and protecting special cultural sites.

Latest news

Preserving traditional fishing practices
23 Mar 2020 - A men’s group from the Wallaga Lake Aboriginal community village will use a hand-made boat and fishing nets to preserve cultural fishing practices.

Volunteers remove tonnes of waste from Dowadee Island
18 Mar 2020 - Traditional owners, local stakeholders and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) have joined forces to remove nine tonnes of rubbish from Dowadee Island near Port Stephens and help protect the island's Aboriginal cultural values.

Helping hand for protected shorebirds
20 Dec 2019 - Two Aboriginal Sea Rangers are helping to monitor and manage nesting sites of protected shorebirds on Wallaga Lake Spit on the NSW south coast.

Students get hands-on with Aboriginal culture
28 Nov 2019 - Aboriginal Elders on the NSW south coast passed on their knowledge to Year 5 students from Narooma primary school. The students got a hands-on experience while learning about the traditional ways Aboriginal people gathered and prepared food in the local area.


  • NSW coast-wide

Lead agency

  • Department of Primary Industries


  • Local Aboriginal Land Councils
  • Local environmental and conservation agencies
  • Local Land Services
  • National Parks and Wildlife Service


To find out more, contact:

Paul Brown - Aboriginal Project Officer, Northern region

Regan Lilley - Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer, Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park

Ian Kerr - Marine Ranger

Page last updated/reviewed: 24 Mar 2020