Mer (Murray Island), in the eastern group of Torres Strait Islands off the northern tip of Australia, is home to the Meriam people.
The Meriam people are perhaps best known for their involvement in the High Court of Australia's Mabo decision which fundamentally changed land law in Australia - recognising Aboriginal traditional ownership.
Although gardening takes priority, each Meriam family has sea rights, and on the reefs in front of their houses, which are mainly built above the beach, they maintain stone fish-weirs and crayfish holes. Skilled seafarers, the Meriam also retain fishing rights over reefs extending 60 km north and south of the islands.
Other articles related to "meriam people":
... Murray Island has been inhabited by the Meriam people for thousands of years prior to European exploration and settlement of Australia ... (including Murray Island, known by the Meriam people as Mer Island) and Europeans began once the Torres Strait became a means of passage between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean in the 19th Century ... The inhabitants of the Torres Strait, including the Meriam people, gained a reputation as fierce warriors and skilled mariners ...
... Court (Mabo v Queensland (No 2), decided in 1992) which was a dispute between the Meriam people (of the Mer Islands in the Torres Strait) and the Government of Queensland, in which ... The Meriam people sought a demurrer to prevent the Queensland Government from relying on the Coast Islands Act in their defence to the main case ...
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