We are the first Australians. We have always been here and will always be here. Click on an image below to find out more about one of the world's oldest living cultures.

Boys spearfishing in the Torres Strait

Boys spearfishing in the Torres Strait. Photo © Mark Roy, Torres News.

The Torres Strait Islands support a population of approximately 6000 (Indigenous) people, scattered over nineteen remote small island communities.

Saltwater and islander culture is inherently linked with the sea, socially, economically and spiritually. In 2010 traditional land owners in the Torres Strait were granted native title rights over more than 40,000 square kilometres of ocean between Cape York and Papua New Guinea.

'Fishing, a daily activity in communities by islanders of all ages, is comprised of 7 major forms: dropline fishing, trolling, 2 types of spearfishing, scooping, netting, and fish drives using stone weirs or nets.

While only a limited number of people are accredited with having exceptional expertise in line fishing, spear fishing, manoeuvring a dinghy or in hunting turtle and dugong, on the other hand every able-bodied person from middle childhood can reliably procure food from the sea.'

Source: Reading and Riding the Waves: The sea as a known universe in Torres Strait, Dr Maureen Fuary.