Ancient fish traps make Easter return to Arrawarra

THIS Easter will bring more than Easter eggs to Arrawarra Headland.

Traditional trapping of fish, using age-old Aboriginal stone traps, will begin during the holiday.

Solitary Islands Marine Park acting manager Nicola Johnstone said the Garby Elders and the local Yarrawarra Aboriginal people have a strong association with Arrawarra Headland.

She said the the use of marine plants and animals from the site for food, medicines and ceremony encouraged good health, and ensured that traditional practices were passed on to the younger generation.

"The methods of collection in this special purpose zone are limited to traditional methods only, namely, the use of the fish trap, hand collection, traditional hand spear and line fishing," Ms Johnstone said.

"Only the Elders listed in the plan are permitted to use the fish traps or collect shellfish. We hope that the reintroduction of traditional use of natural resources at Arrawarra Headland is well received by the local community."

Advisory signs highlighting the cultural significance and traditional use of the area will be erected near the fish traps and local residents will get information regarding the project.

Although the original Marine Reserve zoning scheme prohibited the taking or harming of any plants or animals from the area, provisions were altered in 2002 and a new zoning scheme provides for traditional use and research at Arrawarra Headland.

Ms Johnstone said that the usual bag and size limits that apply to fishing, still apply to the fish caught in the traps and only species listed in the conservation plan are to be targeted.

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