Doco 2014

Update

Re-editing the film as improvements suggested by the class and teacher informed me that it could potentially be tweaked in order to achieve a better grade. The first version was indeed “great” but like always, could do with a little extra work.

Peter Sprivulis

In our documentary, we will interview peter on his thoughts of the shark cull, the questions we will ask him are as follows:

1.) If the risks of being bitten by a shark are really as low as you say they are in your article “what’s the real risk of being bitten by a shark in WA”, then why do you think the state government have implemented such a policy?

2.) If you were in Colin Barnett’s shoes, how would you have gone about tackling the issue?

3.)  If the risks of being bitten are so small, why do you think the general public are so scared? when in theory, they should be more worried about driving to work every morning?

Scott Coughlan Quotes

It has been decided that in our documentary, instead of having a recorded interview with scott, we will just get him saying sections of his “is out of sight out of mind” article, that best suits the premise of the film. The lines we will get him to say are:

‘I’m not for the shark cull, I tend to believe that it is a colossal waste of money (that could be better spent on other things) for little result and that most people enter the water fully aware of the risk they take.’

‘It appears to me to be bad policy, badly implemented, but I’ll also add that I believe a shark is just a big fish.’

‘what is most baffling is how so much hysteria has been driven by the likelihood of a handful of large sharks dying, much of this fuelled by blatant misinformation.’

Background to WA shark Cull

– The WA shark Cull is the common term used to describe a state government policy of capturing and killing sharks by the use of baited Drum Lines.

– The policy was implemented in 2014 to protects users of the marine environment from shark attacks, following the death of 7 people on the Western Australian Coastline in the years 2010 to 2013. National public demonstrations opposing the policy have attracted international attention to the issue.

– The use of 72 drum lines to bait and hook large sharks in Western Australian waters was implemented in January 2014. The state government, led by Premier Colin Barnett, and then Fisheries Minister Troy Buswell, developed the policy in response to a total of seven fatal attacks off WA in the years 2010 to 2013.

– The policy authorises and funds the deployment of drum lines near popular beaches: baited mid-water hooks designed to catch and kill Great White sharks, Bull sharks, and tiger sharks. All sharks found hooked but still alive and measuring over 3 metres in length are to be killed and their bodies disposed of at sea.

– The principle behind the policy is to reduce the threat of shark attacks at popular coastal locations. It aims to achieve this by reducing the number of potentially life-threatening sharks by attracting them to baited hooks, rather than to human activity.

– Two “marine monitored areas” have been established, stretching 1 km off shore from Quinns to Warnbro in the Perth metropolitan area. Sharks larger than 3m found in these areas are to be hunted and killed by professional fishermen.

– Australia’s Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt granted the WA Government a temporary exemption from national environment laws protecting great white sharks, to allow the otherwise illegal acts of harming or killing the species.

– Leaked documents revealed that the fishermen are being paid $610,000 for 107 days of work setting and maintaining drum lines.

– The government’s suite of shark mitigation measures, which also include increased air patrols, have been estimated to cost $20 million.

– The policy was supported by the ruling of the WA Supreme Court in which Justice James Eldeman rejected an application from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for an immediate injunction to have the baited drum-lines removed.

– The EPA of WA initially ruled out assessing the policy, stating in March 2014 that due to its limited timeframe and small scale the policy posed a negligible risk to the environment.

– Paul Vogel, the chairman of the EPA, said that public opinion did not form the basis for an environmental impact assessment, and that “The risk assessment and the expert advice we got from competent, professional scientists in this area says there is a negligible risk to the target and non-target species of sharks from this proposal”.

– In April 2014, the Authority announced that it had set a Public Environmental Review level of assessment on shark policy, with a four-week public submission period. The policy also received the support of a group of surfers in Margaret River.

Film Treatment/Plan

Title: ‘Cullin Barnett’

Sharks: Beneath our Waves

Contact Information:

Damon Keizer – dazzem@gmail.com

Trent Whitworth – trent.whitworth@icloud.com

Log-line:

In early 2014, Colin Barnett introduced the Shark Cull as a mean’s to reduce the amount of fatal attack’s on Western Australia coastline. The documentary will present varying points of view on the issue, as it explores the context of the event, and different public opinion- on what should be done about sharks, the kings of the sea.

Characters

– Scott Coughlan: fish journalist and editor for Western Angler fishing magazine, West Australian Chief fishing writer.

– Peter Sprivulis: Head of emergency medicine at UWA, writer of the article ” what’s the real risk of being bitten by a shark in Western Australia?”

– Damon Keizer: narrator

– Paul de Gelder: Shark attack survivor (just quoted, not actually seen in footage)

Film treatment

The Documentary begins with with shot’s of the beaches of perth, and Sharks. Voiceover is present that convey’s the context of the issue, and delivers factual information about the shark cull and How Barnett introduced it.

Damon: “ In early january of 2014, Colin Barnett, and fisheries Minister Troy Buswell implemented a policy to attempt to diminish the number of fatal shark attacks on West Australian Beaches.”

– Shots of sharks swimming in the ocean/footage of cottesloe

The Policy was a response to 7 deaths from 2010 to 2013, and focused on reducing Shark population by the use of 72 drum lines to bait and hook large sharks in Western Australian water. The principle behind the policy is to reduce the threat of shark attacks at popular coastal locations. It aims to achieve this by reducing the number of potentially life-threatening sharks by attracting them to baited hooks, rather than to human activity.”

– video of drum lines/fisheries working on preparation for the cull, footage of popular beaches (cottesloe) and most importantly video of the first shark being culled (blood etc) – sharks biting the hooked underwater (try find footage)

” The policy funds, and authorizes the deployment of drum lines near popular beaches, with baited mid-water hooks designed to catch and kill Great White sharks, Bull sharks, and tiger sharks. All sharks found hooked but still alive and measuring over 3 metres in length are to be killed…. and their bodies disposed of at sea.”

later..

” We turned to Peter Sprivulis for an expert opinion, he is the professor of emergency medicine at UWA, and  has done some significant research on Shark Bite Patterns in WA, and has wrote an article titled: “what’s the real risk of being bitten by a shark in Western Australia?””

Scott Coughlan is a Fishing Journalist, Western Australia Chief fishing writer, and part owner of WA’s fishing magazine ‘the Western Angler’ has some strong opinions on the Shark Cull…”

Scott knows just how deadly these creatures are, his good friend Brian Guest was killed by a great white several years ago”

later…

” It is clear that the fear of the public and hysteria surrounding the topic is a major influence in fuelling the shark debate, so we went to Cottesloe beach to ask some members of the public on their thoughts regarding the cull, and sharks in General..”

Leaked documents revealed that the fishermen are being paid $610,000 for 107 days of work setting and maintaining drum lines.”

“The government’s suite of shark mitigation measures, which also include increased air patrols, have been estimated to cost $20 million”

Paul De Gelder survived a shark attack in 2009, and is openly, and completely opposed to the cull.. saying that (show article) ‘ they’re not our sharks to kill, and they are definitely not Colin Barnett’s Sharks to KIll.’ Epitomizing his opinion is his statement ” It’s a wild animal and you want to kill it for doing what it does”” 

– filler footage / effects and music to make it sad and dramatic.

The information is followed up by a brief introduction into Peter Strivulis and his background, and soon an interview of him begins. After his response to the first question, the visual changes to images of shark’s being culled or equivalent, in order to juxtapose Peter’s opinion towards the cull.

I then introduce Scott coughlan, and we show archival footage of his encounter with a great white which made the news headlines. Then, a voice-recording of some questions that I ask him over the phone will be shown, and his answers will be incorporated in writing as he speaks. After this, his article will be quoted. The focus then goes onto shark victims of australia and WA, and their opinions are briefly presented.

Peter sprivulis

Peter is the professor of emergency medicine at the University of Western Australia. Peter has done much research on the topic of sharks and the patterns of recent attacks, trying to answer why ther has been such an increase in recent years. The article is called ‘What’s the real risk of being bitten by a shark in Western Australia?’ and can be read here:

https://theconversation.com/whats-the-real-risk-of-being-bitten-by-a-shark-in-western-australia-23132

Peter has gladly accepted my proposal for an interview in our documentary, which will hopefully be conducted soon.

Screen shot 2014-08-18 at 6.09.54 PM

Documentary roles

Trent

Primary: editor

secondary: director,shooting schedule

Damon

Primary: cinematographer

secondary: scriptwriter, film treatment

Lynn MacLaren

Lynn is a member for the south metropolitan region legislative council of Western Australia, and has had a fair amount to say about the shark cull debate in recent months. below is an article that mentions her, and my email sent to her asking for an interview.

In November 2013, in response to a fatal shark attack on a surfer, the State Government announced it would install baited drum line hooks off Perth and the State’s South-West coastline with the intention of hunting and killing large sharks. The announcement was made after a 15-month period in which no fatal shark attack had occurred in Western Australian waters, while over a dozen people had drowned off our coast.

Against strong community opposition and doubts whether the strategy would do anything to reduce attacks, the drum lines were implemented on Australia Day long weekend in late January 2014. Although the policy was described as targeting large ‘dangerous’ sharks over three metres in length (including great white, tiger and bull sharks), it swiftly become clear that many under-size sharks were being caught, including non-target species. If the undersized captured sharks did not die on the drum lines, they were shot or in numerous documented cases, released in a condition in which survival was unlikely.

With no evidence that this plan will make people safer and growing evidence that the sharks impaled on the hooks or released in poor condition may in fact be attracting bigger predators, the Greens have fought in parliament at a State and Federal level to end the catch and kill strategy: an expensive, ineffective policy grounded by fear rather than fact.

At a state level Lynn MacLaren has challenged the lack of science and due process in the policy’s development through questions in parliament, and spoken at protests to collectively more than 10,000 people with anti-cull organisations that include Sea Shepherd, West Australians for Shark Conservation and Animal Amnesty.

The battle continues to end WA’s shark cull, through continued political pressure and community opposition as well as appeals to environmental agencies and a legal challenge.

Screen shot 2014-08-12 at 2.26.11 PM

Is out of sight out of mind?

Scott Coughlan, WA fishing journalist has formulated his opinions on the recent shark cull fiasco in a short article, and offers an interesting insight and perspective into his believed, unnecessary hysteria surrounding the Shark cull. In addition, it will act as a good source material for our documentary that we can quote and reference. The article is called ‘Is out of sight out of mind?’

Is out of sight out of mind?

Apparently so in the current shark cull debate.

Let me start off by saying that I’m not for the shark cull, I tend to believe that it is a colossal waste of money (that could be better spent on other things) for little result and that most people enter the water fully aware of the risk they take.

It appears to me to be bad policy, badly implemented, but I’ll also add that I believe a shark is just a big fish.

One of my fishing buddies, Brian Guest, was taken by a great white, but it seems to me that over the years a huge amount of money has been spent on this issue, with aerial patrols and such, for little improvement in an area where self risk mitigation is an obvious, and cost effective, option.

However, I can also see that the State Government felt some responsibility to act to safeguard its constituents, and perhaps its tourism dollars, as risk mitigation is a key part of the role they play.

Whether they have gone about it the right way is clearly open to debate.

However, what is most baffling is how so much hysteria has been driven by the likelihood of a handful of large sharks dying, much of this fuelled by blatant misinformation.

It is a simple fact that non-shark bycatch with baited drumlines is virtually nil.

The South African figures on their netting and drumlines bear this out, and yet time and again I have heard it claimed that seals, dolphins, whales and turtles will be killed by this program.  (ACTUAL BYCATCH OF THESE SPECIES LAST SUMMER WAS….NIL!!!)

There has been a clear agenda to mix the results of netting in with those of drumlines, and no one wants netting as it is an indiscriminate killer, especially of the bycatch people are so concerned about.

It is also a fact that great whites and tigers are not regarded as endangered despite what has been claimed in the media, with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List rating great whites as “vulnerable” and tigers another step down as “near threatened”, which is the sixth rung down in a table of nine categories that starts with extinct.

It is another simple fact that shark attacks in Queensland went from one a year to one in 52 years following the introduction of both netting and drumlines, so it at least appears that taking measures to minimise attacks does work, again contrary to some of the claims that have been made.

There’s also been plenty made of the allegedly cruel and inhumane treatment and killing of hooked sharks, and someone who is a marine biologist sent me a research paper this week on sharks and pain and commented : “this review paper shows there is scant evidence that elasmobranchs have the nerve equipment to even receive injurious stimuli, let alone brains complex enough to process the signals emotionally as pain.”

I also scratch my head at the level of hysteria around the death of two sharks, which as I said earlier I regard as just big fish, to be managed within the marine ecosystem along with all other fish species.

There are plenty of other species, including one of our national emblems, that are culled on land to control their numbers and barely a word is said, and there are hundreds of crocodiles killed each year in the interests of human safety, so this sort of action is hardly unprecedented.

And we all know about the shark nets and drumlines on the east coast.

As long as the spawning biomass of the various shark species remains healthy, then killing non-endangered sharks is in my eyes no different to catching a spanish mackerel, although I am puzzled as to why the bodies are being dumped at sea rather than retained for research.

But perhaps the most bizarre aspect to all this is that the life of a handful of sharks in the metro area appears to be worth far more than that of thousands of sharks elsewhere along the coast.

In 2008, shark netting was removed from the metro area and great white attacks have increased markedly since.

Even though great whites are protected, it is highly likely that some were killed by the shark nets, and obviously until 2008 we actually had shark netting in Perth waters.

In the light of the spate of attacks, professional fishermen requested that shark nets be introduced back into Perth waters to help control the problem.

The State Government was advised against this by Recfishwest and duly rejected this approach.

With that single decision, it spared the lives of thousands of sharks, and probably those of a number of dolphins and seals, and yet here it is under fire for killing, at the time of writing, two tiger sharks.

They could potentially have simply allowed shark nets back into metro waters and quietly dealt with the problem, with little public outcry.

In the wake of the latest attack, they instead decided on drumlines, the most targeted approach for catching sharks possible.

Surely thought, if the people leading these protests were genuinely driven by a desire to protect shark numbers, they’d be screaming for the shark netting that still continues in the South-West to be ceased immediately?

Maybe it’s too much effort to drive all the way to the south coast and find a shark boat when you can simply head down to Cottesloe on a lovely sunny Saturday and socialise with people of similar beliefs?

Or perhaps people just don’t want to think about where that meal of fish and chips that at least one of the speakers at last weekend’s rally was seen enjoying only minutes after completing his duties, comes from?

Out of mind, out of sight…

Trent and I have decided upon an idea for our Documentary, we will do it on the recent, and current Shark Cull Fiasco. Ideas include an interview with Scott Coughlan, a family friend of mine, who is a fishing journalist, and who also had a good friend killed by a great white.

This video appeared on channel 9 news, and he is interviewed on the shark he and some of his mates (including my Dad) saw eating a whale Carcass from their boat.


Final

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