No Shark Cull Film Festival

Tuesday 1st March 2016

Nick Kermode; a committee member of the No Shark Cull organisation in partnership with Sea Shepherd, hosted what can only be described as the best turnout of an Ocean conservation fundraising event in Brisbane that I’ve ever been to.

A sold out event at one hundred and seventy five tickets, the event doubled the Perth and Sydney events combined. It was evident that there was a strong ocean conservation community in Brisbane and they were here in force to support this cause. With a further thirty people scrambling on the day for a last minute ticket, there were definitely people that missed out on this great event.

The event was created to raise money to bring over shark spotters from South Africa. Shark spotters is a non-lethal shark control program implemented by volunteers in order to keep beach goers and swimmers safe and as been proven to have successful results.

With the rain and peak hour traffic causing some delays people queued up a bit behind time to get their tickets checked in and buy extra raffle tickets for the chance to win a dozen fantastic prizes.

The prizes all donated by local dive shops and companies showed again the amazing support of the community. It was just terrific to see the community come together, even competing dive operators, all there to just have a great time and catch up with friends.

Sea Shepherd also offered a great stand full of cool merchandise fundraising for their Apex Harmony campaign.

People finished their pizzas and took to a sold out theatre of seats with cold beers in their hands, a perfect way to end a Tuesday!

We watched two films; Skyler Thomas’s ‘Great White Lies’ and ‘WA Shark Cull’ by Riley Elliott and Mike Bhana. Both films brought to the surface the injustice happening not only to Sharks but other wildlife through current Shark control methods. Furthermore, they begged the question is there really public safety on our beaches using these methods? and it explored alternatives that are non-lethal and the science behind the controversial debate.

I had to say I was getting pretty choked up on two occasions. One being watching a mother Dolphin trying to hold its baby up to the surface to breathe whilst it was fully entangled and suffering in a Shark net in Queensland. It was heartbreaking to hear the high pitched screeching from the baby desperately calling for its mummy to help.

During the W.A Shark cull any sharks under three metres had to be tagged and released. The second moment I welled up during the film was watching a juvenile Tiger shark sink to the bottom of the sea as it was discarded and had no energy left in it after hours of fighting for its life on a hook.

The Shark which would not have stood a chance was given one more shot as conservationists swam down and escorted it to the surface where they then swam with it for over an hour and a half to assist it to breathe and swim again. Tired and exhausted they had to let go of the Shark hoping it would hold its own in the water. Then you see it gently sway its tail and its this amazing feeling of accomplishment in what is a very bitter sweet moment.

The night went pretty quickly with presentations for prizes held afterwards. I took out two prizes, but most importantly the one I was wishing for which was the Darren Jew print! I was so happy I won it! After buying twenty five additional raffle tickets of which about twenty three went into trying to win the Darren Jew print, I was pretty pleased with myself and the investment.

I took some photos as Event Photographer to donate to the organisations, some of which are shown here. For more event photos and information on what you can do to help the cause go to ‘No Shark Cull’ facebook page.

At events like this its always wicked catching up with other like minded conservationists but I encourage people to bring people outside this community next time so that we can assist in spreading this information out to the wider public.

I personally thank all of you that came and supported the event and to all the sponsors who gave generous donations. Thank-you No Shark Cull and Sea Shepherd volunteers who made the event not only possible but absolutely fantastic.