Original story by Warren Barnsley, Sydney Morning Herald
Budding young filmmakers are being encouraged to shoot video evidence of marine debris affecting the Great Barrier Reef in a bid to raise awareness of the issue.
The Gladstone Local Marine Advisory Committee is calling on eight to 18-year old documentary producers to put together short films highlighting the problem of marine debris.
“We want young people to use their creativity to tell a compelling story about marine debris in a video no longer than two minutes,” said Gladstone LMAC Chair Blue Thomson.
“It can be an interview, documentary-style, a music video, a fictional story or animated. It’s entirely up to the creator,” he said.
Researchers say it’s a major issue for the world heritage-listed ecosystem, not only because of the negative impacts to the reef’s aesthetic qualities and hazard to ocean users.
LMAC member and Central Queensland University Research Fellow Dr Scott Wilson claims plastics are a top five pollutant causing harm to the marine environment and animals.
“In a recent study, 22 per cent of shearwater chicks were found to have plastics in their stomachs.
“Plastic bags, bottles, ropes and nets trap, choke, starve and drown many marine animals and seabirds around the world every year.”
The issue could be better dealt with if people were more responsible with their litter, including plastics, rubbers, metal, wood and glass, said Dr Wilson.
Participants will go in the running to win an iPad or GoPro Hero 3, with entries closing on May 30.
Winners will be announced on June 16.