Dhimurru Rangers, Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory
Based in north-east Arnhem Land the Dhimurru Rangers are passionate about their country and have been actively clearing their coastline of ghost nets since the mid 1990s.
The Dhimurru Rangers are based in Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory and are administered by the Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation (founding members of GhostNets Australia). The Rangers manage 100,000ha of land and 450,000ha of marine estates within the Dhimurru Indigenous Protected Area.
Given the vast and unique geography of north-east Arnhem Land, Rangers often survey their stretch of coastline by helicopter, searching for animals entangled in ghost nets. You will find the Rangers in the air between April and August (the dry season), as this is when the majority of the nets wash ashore on this part of the coast.
Photo: Senior Ranger Daryl Lacey with two recently released Olive Ridley Turtles. Photographer: Vanessa Drysdale
The striking coastal area (including Wanuwuy or Cape Arnhem) provides some of the only remaining protected nesting sites for several threatened species of marine turtles. This is why the Rangers are passionate about implementing their Turtle Rescue Project. As part of this project any live turtles that are found are tagged and their details recorded.
The Dhimurru Rangers have been out on country clearing nets from the shoreline and river systems since 1996. From 2000 they have worked in partnership with Northern Territory Government, GhostNets Australia and Conservation Volunteers Australia to undertake formal monitoring and now contribute significantly to our knowledge about the impact and origin of ghost nets.
The Dhimurru Rangers continue to play a critical role in freeing our oceans from ghost nets and remove an average of 70 ghost nets a year from the coastline and river systems.