Saltwater country

The Northern Territory coastline, which has provided a continuous home to Aboriginal people for thousands of years is known often as ‘saltwater country’. For saltwater people all aspects of social, cultural, and economic life are intimately connected to the health of their coastal lands and seas, and must be managed carefully so future generations can continue that connection.

Around 85% of the coastal lands in the Northern Territory are owned and managed by Aboriginal people.

Today, Aboriginal ranger groups manage land and seas under the guidance of the broader Traditional Owner groups, combining traditional and local Indigenous knowledge with conventional science. Groups like Dhimurru maintain a well managed system of permits and recreational beach maintenance through their land and sea Indigenous Protected Area to ensure non-aboriginal people can enter, camp and fish in a sustainable manner, while also conducting and supporting other research and management of the sea.