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Byron Shire
December 5, 2022

Is the great shark fear justified?

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On Friday environment activist Violet CoCo faced the Magistrates Court, at the Downing Centre in Sydney for peacefully protesting climate inaction. She was sentenced to  15 months imprisonment, with a non-parole period of eight months for engaging in non-violent protest.

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Dead hammerhead shark. Photo www.envoyfilm.com.au

Looking at the human fear of the shark, our responses and the impacts on sharks and other marine life the launch of the documentary Envoy: Shark Cull will give you a chance to look at the realities of the current approach to shark safety.

Launching the film this Wednesday 21 July Byron Rangers and Sea Shepherd Byron Bay are hosting a screening and live Q&A at Palace Cinemas.

The filmmakers boldly claim that any person who views the film – even people terrified of sharks – will become an advocate against the QLD and NSW shark control programs – such is the overwhelming level and gravity of evidence in the film.

Dead sharks. Photo www.envoyfilm.com.au

‘We’re killing the doctors of the reef, the animals that keep the whole ecosystem in check,’ is one of the quotes from Envoy: Shark Cull.

According to the film makers along with a compelling body of proof, the film presents the in-depth knowledge and expertise from some of the biggest names in ocean conservation, with the support of some of Australia’s favourite A-listers, including Eric Bana and Layne Beachley.

They say that the film also documents the more recent developments including the government’s efforts to hide the facts about the shark netting and drumline program.

‘Its underhand efforts to continue culling endangered species in The Great Barrier Reef, officially a marine park, its deliberate ignoring of the recommendations of the 2017 Senate Inquiry, and the reality of how nets are actually luring predators closer to shore,’ they claim.

Dead stingrays and shark. Photo www.envoyfilm.com.au

‘What makes the film special is the narrative that unfolded before us: a government gag order to stop us filming, a legal challenge against culling in the Federal Court of Australia, and shocking new scientific evidence,’ says filmmaker Andre Borell.

‘The biggest misconception people have toward the shark control program is that people think that it’s a physical barrier between them and the open ocean,’ states Holly Richmond, marine biologist.

The film points out that most of the general public hold a fear of sharks, and mistakenly believe that shark nets provide protection. They are not aware that ‘safe’ beaches are simply beaches with a small number of archaic fishing devices dotted around, nor of the monstrous cost to whales, dolphins, and turtles, as well as other precariously diminishing species, or the marine ecosystems of The Great Barrier Reef.

If you have a concern that taxpayer dollars are being wasted by the government on these programs, and a wish to understand how those same dollars might be contributing to the destruction of one of our most important tourist draw-cards, the Great Barrier Reef then come along and see Envoy: Shark Cull.

The film will have a limited run of three screenings: Get tickets at Palace Cinemas.


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  1. People are mostly awful and pointless. I say leave the sharks alone and stay out of the water ( unless you are a surfer).

  2. As an awful and pointless surfer I have no problem with fishing for specific shark species near where they may mix with people and try to bite off their limbs. There are many in our community who have known locals taken by these finny predators. If you want to protect shark species raise money for offshore vertical reefs.

    • I’m not sure what an ‘awful and pointless’ surfer is.
      I acknowledge that shark bite incidents result in injury and sometimes fatality and are traumatic for victims, their rescuers and their families. The effect often runs deep in communities.
      I also point out that, working to advocate for and protect sharks does not mean that we are anti surfers or any water users. (I am not a surfer, but am a SCUBA diver.)
      And I’ll say again and again, fishing for specific shark species a) does not occur in relation to the supposed mitigation programs and b) is ineffective. Drumlines and shark nets (especially) are non-discriminatory. There is clear data that demonstrates that culling programs do not make beaches safer. We have heaps of data showing that nets and drumlines actually attract rather than exclude large predators. The big three species are highly mobile and migratory. Killed sharks are highly likely to be replaced quickly by others moving into or through the space.
      Would it not be much better if the several non-lethal and effective methods already available be implemented?

    • Awful, pointless and gutless ! Stay out of the ocean if you don’t have the courage of your convictions.
      Cheers G”)

  3. Bean needs to read the signs when surfing mullet season for example. At ballina wall the other week people surfing on one side, Bull sharks spinning on other side, shark boat out at drum line tagging shark. What can one say, and what is a vertical reef like trumps wall?

  4. Facts are very few people are EVER killed by sharks & very few are injured. If you are so worried about this highly unlikely event, don’t surf or swim. You may as well hand in your drivers license as the REAL cause to your death will be in a car NOT a sharks mouth. The ocean is THEIR habitat not ours, so at least respect THEIR environment & not demand more slaughter of the innocents. Think of the few people who have been bitten by a shark, who are now champions for their survival. THAT’S WHAT I CALL INTELLIGENCE & A RATIONAL PERSPECTIVE. Sharks are essential for the health of our once beautiful oceans, we are the destructive predators here. However, we are a out of control species , so I hold little hope for a mega change in our attitude or lifestyle.


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