All eyes on lo­cals as film pre­mieres

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

“TO THINK that some­thing you’ve grown up with may not be there any­more – it is a hor­ri­ble feel­ing and you want to do ev­ery­thing you can to keep that mem­ory ... alive,” ex­plained Ocean Raft­ing skip­per and en­vi­ron­men­tal of­fi­cer Sarah Perry dur­ing her bigscreen de­but on Mon­day night.

Ms Perry, along with lo­cal fish­ers Tam­mie Scott and Matt Fitzger­ald, played star­ring roles in part two of the Sea & Me film The Eyes of the Reef, which pre­miered at the Aus­tralian Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety 50th an­niver­sary event at the Whit­sun­day Arts and Cul­tural Cen­tre this week.

The sec­ond in­stal­ment of the film traces the Great Bar­rier Reef’s story through the eyes of peo­ple work­ing on the reef.

On be­half of Ocean Raft­ing, Ms Perry leads the Eye on the Reef data col­lec­tion pro­gram, where tour op­er­a­tors col­lect data in the green zones they visit ev­ery­day, in­clud­ing mea­sur­ing wa­ter tem­per­a­ture and visibility.

Ocean Raft­ing’s data shows a con­cern­ing drop in visibility in the past few years by four to five me­tres on av­er­age.

Also fea­tur­ing in the film, lo­cal fish­er­woman and owner of Whit­sun­day Seafood Com­pany Tam­mie Scott said she was wor­ried about the im­pact of min­ing and dredg­ing on the Great Bar­rier Reef’s wa­ter qual­ity. “We need to fo­cus on the in­ter­con­nect­ed­ness of the Great Bar­rier Reef and all of the marine ecosys­tems and en­vi­ron­ments,” she said.

“Be­cause our marine an­i­mals are depend­ing on us that their habi­tats will be there into the fu­ture.

“Any hit to wa­ter qual­ity in those ar­eas has a huge af­fect on where the fish will be on their spawn­ing and life cy­cles,” Ms Scott said.

ON SCREEN: Sarah Perry ap­pears in The Eyes of the Reef.

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