“THE SEA AND ME” | A MOVIE MEDIA EVENT | MAROOCHYDORE SURF CLUB | 31 MAR 2015
A gathering of like minded people and the Sunshine Coast Environment Council met at the HMAS Brisbane War Memorial at Alexandra Headlands, South East Queensland this week. A call was put out to all Sunshine Coast divers, tourism operators, conservationists, scientists, fishers and other marine loving people to show their support for our marine sanctuaries.
The crowd and supporters unfurled an enormous colourful banner which celebrated the alliance of many groups and people with a common interest in marine conservation and sealife diversity. The banner comprised hundreds of photos on it taken by people across Australia over this summer highlighting the diversity and strength of support in the community for marine sanctuaries. The banner was produced by the Save Our Marine Life Alliance.
Philip Hart, owner and manager of Sunreef Scuba Diving Mooloolaba represented the gathering and local media attended including Channel 7 news.
The event was quite a success, and was followed later that evening by a film screening of the movie “The Sea and Me” at the Maroochydore Surf Club.
The event was fully booked out with at least 150 people in attendance and standing room only. The event was sponsored by the groups below, many of whom also spoke at the event:
Sunshine Coast Environment Council – Narelle McCarthy
Sunreef Scuba Diving Mooloolaba – Philip Hart
Surfrider Foundation Sunshine Coast – Craig Macintyre (see photo below)
Save Our Marine Life Alliance – Cate Faehrmann
Scuba Divers of Australia – Steve Moon
Australian Marine Conservation Society – Fiona Maxwell
The majority of attendees were families, friends and people generally interested in finding out more about marine parks and supporting their preservation.
It was the last venue for the film’s tour prior to it being released to the general public. So far it has been shown in 11 major centres around Australia, and after tonight’s showing it will be freely distributed to the many commercial entities at the event for general circulation.
The movie was a 30 minute home grown film about the extraordinary seas surrounding Australia, targetting a collection of Australian marine sanctuaries around the country from as far west as Ningaloo to places along the east coast and as far south as Tasmania. It looked at ordinary people whose lives were totally dependent on, or closely connected to, the existence of these marine sanctuaries and their role in the bigger picture. Below is a short vignette of one particular community which was included in the film.
The sanctuaries have an important role in populating these areas and are not for anyone to rape and plunder. There is economic value is so many different walks of life because of these marine parks, and the film shows the interdependence and dependence of so many people based on these sanctuaries.
It was quite a timely event as the Abbott govt is currently reviewing the Australian marine parks set up by previous governments, and rumours have it that there could potentially be a roll back of these pre-existing parks.
The event was timed to take place one week prior to the meeting of the Advisory Panel for the Federal Review into the Commonwealth Marine Reserves. It was scheduled for the 31st March as this was the last day for written submissions to that panel.
The Advisory Panel is due to meet in Mooloolaba on the 7th April 2015, at which media will be invited to attend. Phil Hart of Sunreef Scuba Diving Mooloolaba will again be the group’s media representative at that meeting.
If you care about our marine sanctuaries and their benefits to local economies and our environment, then put your view forward to either Phil Hart or Craig Macintyre.