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TSRA supports partner agencies conducting joint patrols in Top Western Region

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) Compliance Management Unit recently hosted a joint compliance operation in the Top Western region with key partner agencies to build capacity in the Rangers program.

The joint operation also saw the initiation of the Compliance exchange program with a ranger from the Cairns-based Dawul Wuru Land and Sea Rangers compliment compliance officers from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), as well as the Simakal (Dauan) and Mura Buway (Saibai) Rangers teams.

Conducted over the course of three days, the joint operation commenced with a fisheries session conducted by AFMA, to provide the Rangers with the basic knowledge of fisheries legislation and how AFMA conducts compliance related activities. The following two day saw rangers work closely with AFMA conducting compliance and surveillance operations in and around the area.

The sessions explored activities from patrols and boarding of vessels to the observation fisheries laws in relation to domestic and foreign fisheries in the Torres Strait Protected Zone.

TSRA Chairperson Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said the joint operation was a great learning opportunity and would build on the capacity within the TSRA’s Compliance Management Unit to perform their role.

“It is important to continue learning from our partner agencies in order to build the TSRA’s capacity for compliance and stay up to date fisheries laws for our region,” Mr Stephen said.

“The Compliance Management Unit plays a valuable role for our region by working with the Rangers and the community on enhancing compliance with the rules for preservation of natural resources in the Torres Strait, including fisheries and the broader environment.”

In his feedback from the training, Ranger Tabuai from Saibai Mura Buway Rangers said he had learned a lot from the joint operation.

“It was a great opportunity for the local rangers to gain an understanding of how other agencies undertake compliance activities,” Mr Tabuai said.

“We enjoy working with all agencies to assist each other in protecting our Land and Sea and it provided any excellent opportunity for the Rangers from Cairns to obtain an insight into the unique challenges along our border.”

Dawul Wuru Ranger Kealyn Singleton said he was extremely grateful to the TSRA Rangers and the respective Traditional Owners for allowing him to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity.

“I had no idea of the complexities of this area and I’m blown away by the awesome job the rangers are doing to protect this beautiful part of Australia,” Mr Singleton said.

Mr Singleton also wished to acknowledge the generosity and support of the TSRA and the Saibai Island community for supporting this patrol to occur.

Over the last two years the TSRA Rangers have been very proactive in the compliance space supporting all government agencies in the Top Western area to provide a coordinated approach to activities in this area.

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