Wanted: young filmmakers to put the spotlight on marine debris

Published: 10/04/2014

Aspiring young David Attenboroughs are invited to promote the issue of marine debris across the Great Barrier Reef through the lens of a video camera.

These school holidays, the Gladstone Local Marine Advisory Committee (LMAC) is calling on the region’s young video makers to grab their cameras to increase awareness about an issue which threatens marine life on the Great Barrier Reef and around the world.

And for their efforts, young people between the ages of 8 and 18 years could win an iPad or GoPro Hero 3.

Marine debris is the waste or litter that finds its way into our seas and oceans. It includes plastics, rubbers, metal, wood and glass which can be found floating in our oceans or washed up on beaches.

LMAC member and Central Queensland University Research Fellow, Dr Scott Wilson said, “plastics are one of the five major marine pollutants 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.

“It not only looks unsightly, but it can be hazardous to ocean users — boaters, divers, swimmers, beach goers and, of course, marine life,” Dr Wilson added.

“Plastic bags, bottles, ropes and nets trap, choke, starve and drown many marine animals and seabirds around the world every year. But it is an issue which we can all do something about just by being more responsible with litter.”

Gladstone LMAC Chair Blue Thomson said the committee hoped the project would increase awareness about marine debris as well as empower them to become vehicles of change in protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

“We want young people to use their creativity to tell a compelling story about marine debris in a video no longer than two minutes,” Mr Thomson said.

“It can be an interview, documentary-style, a music video, a fictional story or animated — it’s entirely up to the creator.”

The competition is open to the region’s young people between 8 and 18 years of age. Individual or group entries will be accepted. Older Gladstone residents may also enter the competition for a chance to win a trophy and prize pack.

Entries close on Friday 30 May 2014 and will be featured on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s YouTube channel where the public will be encouraged to vote for their favourite video.

Winners will be announced on 16 June 2014.

Entry forms are available by on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park’s website at www.gbrmpa.gov.au or by emailing southern.region@gbrmpa.gov.au.

Name: Dr Scott Wilson
Contact: (07) 4970 7605