Sharing sea country management knowledge with Easter Island

Published: 25/08/2015

The success of locally-driven sea country management activities was internationally showcased this week when the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Indigenous Partnerships team met with visiting traditional owners of World Heritage-listed Rapa Nui.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority hosted the five Traditional Owners from Rapa Nui, Chile and one representative from Pew Charitable Ocean Legacy to share insights on locally-led Traditional Owner management activities in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Rapa Nui, the Indigenous name for Easter Island, is the most remote inhabited island on the planet. Its Traditional Owners are working with Pew Ocean Legacy to develop strategies to protect its marine resources.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Indigenous Partnerships acting director Jessica Hoey explained the group is investigating how they can build locally led conservation initiatives based on traditional knowledge.

“We’ve been asked to provide an insight into how the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is managed in partnership with Traditional Owners, ranging from Traditional Use of Marine Resource Agreements through to engagement and participation in compliance,” Ms Hoey said. 

“We’re honoured to have been approached to provide advice — it credits the strength and success of our sea country management partnerships.” 

Ms Hoey explained that sea country management agreements with Traditional Owner groups have been met with enthusiasm.

“In the Great Barrier Reef catchment there are groups who are achieving some amazing outcomes on country — actively monitoring water quality, tagging and monitoring turtles, and achieving compliance with their management agreements through community education. They are also working with regulatory authorities in the detection, reporting of illegal activities and where necessary enforcement.”

Eight formal Traditional Owner management agreements now cover 45,207 square kilometres of the Marine Park and involve 15 Traditional Owner groups.

For more information on Traditional Use of Marine Resources Agreements, visit

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07) 4750 0846