Today is a landmark day in the Kimberley, with the launch of the first jointly managed Marine Park in Western Australia.
Lalang-garram / Camden Sound Marine Park will be jointly managed by Dambimangari (and other Traditional Owners where appropriate) and the state government. This will ensure that the quality and condition of the marine environment is enhanced, and its cultural significance to Aboriginal people is both recognised and protected.
The aspirations of the traditional owners for the Camden Sound area are reflected in the name chosen for the park – Lalang-garram. This is a Worrorra word meaning “the saltwater as a spiritual place as well as a place of natural abundance” It evokes the ocean in its most general sense. The Dambimangari chose this word to name the marine park for cultural reasons that respect the idea of saltwater without meaning just one place or one part of their traditional country.
Both the Western Australian government and the Traditional Owner partners of the marine park are committed to enhancing the conservation of biodiversity and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage values within the Lalang-garram / Camden Sound Marine Park. Within the marine park management plan, there is a particular emphasis on providing special management arrangements for humpback whales and their newborn calves at their most vulnerable stage of life. The management arrangements also recognise the value of the marine park for a range of recreational and commercial uses. The conservation objectives of the Lalang-garram / Camden Sound Marine Park are also consistent with Traditional Owner aspirations for ensuring that their saltwater country remains healthy, and for ensuring that no plants or animals are lost. ‘Traditional Owners have a strong commitment to manage biodiversity and look after many species and ecosystems in the lands and seas because of their cultural significance.’ (North Kimberley Saltwater Country Steering Committee, 2012).
For more info on the park please click here