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Envoy: Shark Cull - Documentary Review

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Published June 15th 2021
The real story behind the coastal ‘shark safety’ programs
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Images © The Hype Project

Envoy: Shark Cull will be in cinemas 21-25 July 2021. It's a documentary by director, producer, entrepreneur, and ocean conservationist Andrew Borell, and it's narrated by Eric Bana. It sheds light on the coastal shark safety programs in Queensland and New South Wales. Special Event Screenings on Wednesday 21 July includes a Live Zoom with some of the biggest names in ocean conservation in selected locations. Get your tickets here and stay in touch via the website or Facebook page where you'll find a lot of content and images that'll hopefully inspire you to take the protection of our oceans seriously. It provides us with over half the oxygen we breathe.

This documentary brings together passionate conservationists who share their in-depth knowledge and expertise to shed light on what's really going on. The speakers include Ocean Ramsey - The Shark Whisperer and Marine Biologist with a Masters in Ethology; Madison Stewart - who has been fighting for sharks since the age of 14; Paul De Gelder - who lost 2 limbs to a shark in Feb 2009 and now a powerful public speaker and TV presenter; Juan Oliphant - a world-class marine photographer; Lane Beachley - a highly successful female surfer in history, claiming 7 world titles from 1998-2006; and Jonathan Clark - an ocean warrior from Sea Shepherd Australia's Apex Harmony.

Producer and director Andre Borell's inspiration to tell this story started in 2014 during the WA Shark Cull. It grew as culls continued in Queensland and New South Wales, even after the WA Cull was abandoned, with little to no public scrutiny. His burning desire to facilitate change has brought about this film that brings the plight of the sharks to the surface yet again. The heavily netted and heavily drum-lined Gold Coast features heavily in the film where shark nets have been in place since1962.

One of many key points in the film is a push for knowledge about sharks, to dispel fear, instead of mindlessly letting the fear-mongering consume us. To facilitate current available methods that care for our environment, the sharks and the community, instead of being stuck in the archaic ways that have been in place since the 1930s. Sharks are a critical keystone species. They maintain the balance of life in the sea and keep our coral reefs healthy.

The current methods of baited drum-lines and nets have not only been scientifically proven to be ineffective in protecting swimmers and surfers, leaving them at risk in the sea, but these outdated solutions continue to be allowed to negatively impact entire marine ecosystems—including the Great Barrier Reef.

Thousands of whales, dolphins, turtles and other marine life are just some of the casualties of these expensive, archaic methods every year, even though new and proven technology is easily accessible. In Australian waters lurks a deadly, indiscriminate killer and it's not the sharks. It's the hidden 83 year Shark Cull that's the longest marine cull in history we need to take umbrage with, and push for change towards less damaging alternatives to marine life.

Some of the key points to keep in mind is to arm ourselves with knowledge about sharks and about the culling that's gone unchecked for years. Education is a great way to expand our understanding and to learn more about an ineffective system that has lulled swimmers into a false sense of security. Scientific evidence has shown that lethal means of controlling sharks do not work and can actually attract sharks closer to shore, especially the larger ones who come in for an easy feed at the nets.

This archaic system has been at a horrific cost to sea life, especially whales, dolphins and turtles, with devastating effects through losing sharks and other apex predators from the ecosystem, including the destruction of coral. There are new and cost-effective alternatives due to advancing technology that can be employed, and it's time to bring this into the current century and facilitate change. Watching this documentary is a start towards paying more attention to what's going on in our own backyard and being conscious and conscientious about a push towards saving our sea life and ecosystem.

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Why? Envoy: Shark Cull - Documentary Review
When: In AUS & NZ Cinemas 21 - 25 July 2021
Where: Australia
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