The Meriam people depended for food and commerce not only on their gardens, but also on the foreshores, reefs and seas.
Their elaborate land tenure rules extended to these maritime areas, and the plaintiffs' claims included specific areas of both land and sea.
However, Queensland's jurisdiction ended at the three mile limit; the Commonwealth assumed control of the sea from there.
Nevertheless, for strategic reasons, the plaintiffs restricted their evidence to those claims within the three mile limit, and during the hearings Justice Moynihan heard detailed evidence about the ownership of fish traps and reefs along the coast.
Unfortunately, he was not satisfied the evidence established any form of exclusive rights to these areas, or that active enforcement of these rights occurred.
Ancient & Modern Ways
Great Barrier Reef, Mer, Murray Island, native title, reef, sea claims, sea rights, Subkaur Island
...Owning the stars, wind and sea...
inheritance, Land Bilong Islanders, Malo's laws, Mer, Murray Island, ownership
...When the tide goes out...
fish traps, fishing, Land Bilong Islanders, Mer, Murray Island, sea claims, sea rights, Wailu, Jack, witnesses
Mer, Meriam culture, sacred, sea claims, sea rights, totems, tribes
Meriam Land Disputes
Dauar, Depoma, Marwer, land boundaries, land ownership, Mabo, Edward Koiki, Malo's laws, Malo's laws, Mer, Meriam culture, Meriam history, Murray Island Native Court, sea rights, trespass, Waier
Belonging To Country
aborigines, Australia, dreamtime, indigenous Australians, land ownership, land rights, sacred
Adapted To Their Continent
Australia, First Fleet, indigenous people, land use
A Sacred Landscape
aboriginal property ownership, anthropology, Australia, clans, dispossession, kinship, land ownership, religion, sacred
The Murray Islanders' Evidence
evidence, Mabo, Edward Koiki, Murray Island, plaintiffs, witnesses
...The seas and reefs...
aboriginal law, Australian Court Case, Blackburn, Justice, Great Barrier Reef, indigenous law, McIntyre, Greg, Meriam culture, Milirrpum v Nabalco Pty Ltd, 1971 , Moynihan, Justice Martin, Murray Island, No Ordinary Judgement, plaintiffs, reef, sea, sea rights, Sharp, Dr. Nonie
...Abandonment of the Sea Claims...
Jun, 26, 1989
aboriginal law, claim, Federal Government, Australia, Great Barrier Reef, McIntyre, Greg, plaintiffs, Queensland, sea, sea rights
Federal Government, Australia, fishing, Meriam culture, sea rights
Farming The Sea
fishing, Great Barrier Reef, Meriam culture, sea rights
Hierarchies Of Land Use
barbarism, colonisation, terra nullius
In Meriam Waters
fishing, Great Barrier Reef, Meriam culture, sea rights, seafarers, Torres Strait
Myths & Legends
Mer, Meriam culture, Murray Island
Performance, Art & The Sacred
Malo's laws, Malo-Bomai, Mer, Murray Island, religion, sacred
Seafarers & Food Growers
fishing, gardening, sea rights, seafarers
Something Deep Within Us
fishing, Great Barrier Reef, sacred, sea rights, seafarers
The Sea That Belongs To The Land
fish traps, fishing, Great Barrier Reef, sea rights, seafarers