New pro-shark film to ‘shame’ Palaszczuk Government
A GRAPHIC new documentary featuring Australia's 'shark girl' aims to shame the Palaszczuk Government into ending the state's controversial shark control program.
The documentary, Envoy: Cull, has been produced by Brisbane filmmaker Andre Borell who is in talks with streaming giants Netflix and Amazon to buy the rights.
Borell joined forces with environmental groups Sea Shepherd, the Australian Marine Conservation Society and Humane Society International to make the film which stars Byron Bay shark crusader Madison Stewart, aka 'shark girl'.
Due for international release next month, the documentary claims the Queensland and NSW shark control programs are actually luring sharks closer to the coastline, endangering human lives, while also trapping 'countless' dolphins, whales and turtles.
"The horrendously graphic footage of dead and dying whales, dolphins, sharks and turtles in this film is going to be too much for some people to handle, it's going to be very hard to watch, but I think to make progress we first need to see the ugly truth," Mr Borell said.
The State Government insists its network of shark nets and baited drumlines stretching from Coolangatta to Cairns saves lives.
It says that between 1916 and 1962, when the shark control program was introduced, there were 36 shark attacks on Queensland beaches, including 19 fatalities.
But there has only been one fatal attack on a protected beach since, the Government says.
Mr Borell said there were safer and more humane shark mitigation measures used in other parts of the world, and the programs run by Queensland and NSW were 'outdated and disproven'.
"We hope that through creating and releasing this film we can bring increased awareness and international scrutiny on the shark control programs that exist in the Queensland and New South Wales waters," he said.
"While concern surrounding these shark control programs is often expressed by ocean activists, environmentalists and animal welfare advocates, it's time that more people know about what's going on.
"We hope that through generating increased awareness we can soon witness change."
The State Government was last year forced to remove drum lines on the Great Barrier Reef after the Humane Society successfully challenged their use in the Federal Court.
But earlier this year, the Government installed so-called SMART drumlines which send out an alert when a shark is caught, reducing deaths of the marine creatures.