From left to right: Barbara Wueringer (SARA), Luke Albury (DAF), China Major (Traditional owner), Dallas Da Silva (DAF), Michael Yam (Traditional owner), Jeff Iken (DAF)

From left to right: Hon. Leanne Linnard MP, China Major (Traditional Owner), Michael Yam (Traditional Owner), Hon. Mark Furner MP, Dr Wueringer

For Valentine’s Day 2024, our Principal Scientist supported two Traditional Owners from Kowanyama, namely China Major and Michael Yam, to meet with various people in Brisbane to voice concerns regarding the treatment of the local waterways by commercial fishers.

Kowanyama is also known as ‘The place of many waters’, and the name already clearly shows a connection of its people with local waterways. For the people of Kowanyama, the ability to go hunt and fish, and to supply their own bush tucker is important. The dependence on local waterways to supply food is especially strong during the wet season, when roads to Kowanyama become unpassable and supplies from the outside can be delivered by plane only.

We would like to thank everyone for taking their time to listen to the concerns by the Traditional owners, China Major and Michael Yam. Together, they represent both the freshwater people and the saltwater people from Kowanyama. Their concerns were also in regards to sawfish, and identified the importance to maintain the Mitchell River and its tributaries as an important habitat for sawfishes.