Standard Presentation (15 mins) Australian Marine Sciences Association 2022

First Nations knowledge of shellfish in Australia (#76)

Mitchell MG Gibbs 1 , Laura LP Parker 2 , Elliot ES Scanes 3 , Pauline PR Ross 1
  1. Faculty of Science, Sydney University, Camperdown, NSW, Australia
  2. Faculty of Science, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW, Australia
  3. Climate Change Cluster, University of Technology of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Throughout the world, there has been increasing recognition of the importance of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), held by First Nations peoples, and its incorporation in shellfish aquaculture and coastal management. In Australia, however, this understanding and incorporation of First Nations TEK of shellfish aquaculture and coastal management is in its infancy. In contrast to Australia, in Aotearoa (New Zealand), there is a rich history of knowledge of shellfish, understanding of cultural practices and the use of stories and ancestral sayings. We reviewed the current state of incorporation of TEK of shellfish in both Australia and Aotearoa. We find that TEK in Aotearoa has improved aquaculture and provides evidence of the value of incorporating TEK in the production of shellfish. We are only now just beginning the journey in Australia to understand and document TEK and practices held by First Nations people. Aotearoa provides valuable lessons on the importance of TEK and guidance for the respectful incorporation of TEK into shellfish aquaculture and coastal management in Australia. If we are to appropriately restore and manage our coasts, then we need to incorporate First Nations Australians knowledge, and respect and protect their connections to traditional sea management.