Trawling for the truth

Here's the footage we got of the Geelong Star in action - before they cut and run, we chased them, and our drone got hit by a bird!!!!! $%#!?

So what should we do next?

We have some okay drone footage - and the only current footage of the Geelong Star in action. But we didn't get the money-shot of the monster trawler hauling in its massive catch. So we could pay to put another drone up and try to get more footage. We also have the option of paying the government the $1080 they're asking for. That means playing along in the so-called 'freedom of information' fiasco we've been persisting with, to try to get the government to release the footage they're holding of the super trawler catching a whale shark. 

Resources are tight - and the funding we have, we got from you! So we want to know what you think the priorities are.

Will you answer the 2 question survey below about what we should do next?

Then we'll get back to you with an update on next steps. Thanks heaps! 

Create your own user feedback survey

Showing 88 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Katy Todaro
    commented 2016-08-17 16:46:57 +1000
    I am disgusted with our so called government! Isn’t it illegal? Join forces with the greens and environmental lawyers start the ball rolling on a class action’ Asking for money for the evidence they have from freedoms of information? Isnt that extortion?.
  • Stephen Thearle
    commented 2016-08-17 16:46:46 +1000
    Get that drone up again and expose the operation for the shocking greedy plunder that’s taking place.
  • Peter Wilkinson
    commented 2016-08-17 16:35:36 +1000
    Fishing off the coast of NSW.
    Start by approaching Robert Brown NSW MLC and Robert Borsak NSW MLC of the NSW Shooters and Fishers Party.
    These gentlemen can help find a positive solution. You have to deal with the existing administration not antagonise them.
    Radical left organisations e.g.. Get Up, Animal Liberation or the Greens will only create hostility, aggravation and greater problems.
    Cheers Peter
  • Gary Gleeson
    commented 2016-08-17 16:31:12 +1000
    Many countries with the Westminster System of government are republics.
  • Graeme Palmer
    commented 2016-08-17 16:25:23 +1000
    Another example of exploitation by greed and abuse of power legally running rampant – we (as in us) need to write new laws for our land, sack the westminster system and become a republic where the leaders have to answer to us the public – not a monarch (example Iceland + Switzerland)!!!
  • Joe Mallia
    commented 2016-08-17 16:25:22 +1000
    Get a third party (say a media organization that wants to run with the story) to pay for the government footage and get the drone up again to get some independent footage.
  • Jan Sheringham
    commented 2016-08-17 15:34:52 +1000
    Seems we need an Erin Brokovitch approach here; some pro bono advice about what Australian and International marine laws are being broken, then some very public naming nd shaming of the offenders, likely to be from BOTH sides of politics! Then proceed via the most public court system to seek a conviction.
    As for paying for an FOI request, I agree that such payments make an oxymoron of the name of the name – “freedom” has a commitment price, NOT a monetary one, otherwise it is not FREE!!!
    If the drone operator feels that another approach might be worthwhile, I would go that way. Just suggest they stay above mast height to minimise the chance of bird strike – it looked as if it may have been struck when flying where birds would be circling near the wake!
  • Rob Clifton
    commented 2016-08-17 15:33:41 +1000
    I would also like to know where all the catch is going exactly? I’ve heard rumours that a good portion of it ends up as petfood!! Are you kidding me…..
  • Rob Clifton
    commented 2016-08-17 15:29:49 +1000
    I think constant and unrelenting pressure is the way forward with all of this, sooner or later, one way or another this operation will be exposed for what it truly is! It is a disgrace that in 2016, with all we now know regarding the tremendous pressure the marine environment is under world wide thanks to overfishing and pollution, this level of indiscriminate commercial fishing activity is allowed to happen. They are here because the southern Oceans are arguably the last true marine wilderness left on earth, but instead of preserving and carefully managing such a treasure, it is just another resource to be plundered!!! Makes me sick that the Australian Gov’t seem to have their heads firmly planted up their backsides……..It’s going to take $$ so put hands in pockets people, every little bit helps.
    As for the Gov’t charging for information!!! Not good enough Malcolm!
  • geoffrey roberts
    commented 2016-08-17 15:25:08 +1000
    Purchase another drone and then fit one of these Personal Safety Alarm 130db Siren & belt clip & pull pin activated to the drone, they are very light re any xtra weight to the drone, just pull the pin on the alarm before you fly it and it should keep those pesky birds away ..these alarms cost about $12..
  • Richard Martin
    commented 2016-08-17 15:16:44 +1000
    Utterly absurd and all with the blessing of our disgusting government – easily the worst in our history.
  • Marion Clarke
    commented 2016-08-17 15:06:12 +1000
    My god father, it is unbelievable the size of the net. This monster needs to be sunk before our oceans are emptied.
  • Gary Gleeson
    commented 2016-08-17 15:04:02 +1000
    The whale shark is not good (like dolphins, seals and other by-catch) but please do not lose sight of the main issue: that super trawlers have already all but destroyed their home fisheries so now they want to come and overfish here .
  • Sherie haines
    commented 2016-08-17 15:02:08 +1000
    Oh no !! There will ge no fish left soon
  • Gary Gleeson
    commented 2016-08-17 15:01:53 +1000
    The whale shark is not good (like dolphins, seals and other by-catch) but please do not lose sight of the main issue: that super trawlers have already Lo but destroyed their home fisheries so now they want to come and overfish here .
  • sue Todd
    commented 2016-08-17 15:00:08 +1000
    The next drone may not get what we need either. Can we use what we have in the media plus the photo of the shark on the deck you have? And keep trying freedom of info. Would GetUp help? Or the Greens?
  • Francis Robbins
    commented 2016-08-17 15:00:08 +1000
    A the moment it seems the Government is standing out of this. If you pay them $1080 and make them show you the footage they have, then you can formally attack them for not penalizing the killing of endangered species – according to their own evidence .
  • Lynette Beacham
    commented 2016-08-17 14:58:12 +1000
    It’s disgusting that we have to succumb to the government extortion but there is proof in what they have, proof which they cannot deny. Perhaps later, once this has been sorted and the boat is taken from the water, an international class action against the federal government for not enforcing laws regarding the activities of this boat might be something worth looking into. It’s time they fully understand that they cannot treat ‘joe citizen’ with the contempt and disdain which they currently treat us.
  • Daamon Parker
    commented 2016-08-17 14:57:48 +1000
    It sounds like paying the $1,080 doesn’t guarantee getting the footage and, not knowing what is actually in it, doesn’t guarantee it’s of any value. And then there’s the disgusting position of having to pay for freedom of information!?!?
    On the other hand, paying to get another drone up – again, no guarantee of getting the money shot. Especially now they’re aware of this approach.
    Public exposure and embarrassment in social and mainstream (TV & papers) is surely an avenue to be explored, perhaps even seeking pro-bono (free) support from environmental lawyers to help out.
  • Bill Radley
    commented 2016-08-17 14:55:33 +1000
    This is just a typical example of gutless governments pandering to well healed overseas interests. Australia for sale to the highest bidder, and bugger the future of Australian fisheries!!
  • Dana Stewart
    commented 2016-08-17 14:52:50 +1000
    They don’t seem to get it, unless it’s on a lawyer’s letterhead. Appeal the fine, and then counter sue them! Appeal to the Environmental Defense Fund, Greenpeace, the UN, Saving Animals from Extinction, and any others you can think of. We need to join forces if we’re going to get anywhere! We can’t donate to all the causes we love, or sometimes, any of them!
  • John Zolis
    commented 2016-08-17 14:51:06 +1000
    What you should do is buy torpedoes and scuttle all the super trawlers – ships and pathetic crews before the ocean is barren
  • Jean Deklerk
    commented 2016-08-17 14:50:16 +1000
    I think no one knows how many effort hours it will take before you get smoking-gun footage with a drone.
    It seems likely that another bird will down another drone (or two or three?) There could be very limited opportunities to get this footage: conditions have to be just right. Although in trying, it seems to me that lessons have been learnt .
    It seems the prospects of getting any footage of actual catch without many many effort hours are better via the FOI route.
    That said, I think it will certainly be worthwhile trying another drone, if the FOI option proves unsatisfactory. If funds are insufficient for another drone after the FOI option, then another fundraising round should fix that problem.
  • Pam Thorley
    commented 2016-08-17 14:49:15 +1000
    I thought that catching those larger creatures was illegal. So shouldn’t the Government be making them toe the line, and releasing the footage as part of the ship’s being prosecuted? Certainly shouldn’t be asking payment for it – that sounds rather like extortion. Who asked for payment? They may need a new job before long.
  • Joël Kalpram
    commented 2016-08-17 14:47:39 +1000
    This is extremely wrong! #WTF big time!! :’(
  • Rosy Maccarrone
    commented 2016-08-17 14:40:55 +1000
    I don’t see the point to handing over money to get the footage, sounds like extortion.
    Would it make a different to spend more money for an other Drone, if we are not even powerful enough to use what is here.
    Fact is: The footage isn’t the problem. The problem are the people who shield the truth. Put them on the front page and we will see who is responsible for the mess.
  • Ann Woeller
    commented 2016-08-17 14:37:39 +1000
    What in God’s name is wrong with out politicians? They are selling off our lands, our waters and our environment for short-term gain to ingratiate themselves with the rest of the world.
  • Don Clifton
    commented 2016-08-17 14:37:14 +1000
    This is another kick in the guts to the smaller long term fishing trawlers . Typical of a conservative Gooernment.