GhostNets Documentary

Best Environmental Story

Winner | GhostNets Documentary | 2011

GhostNets Australia is an alliance of 22 indigenous communities and Indigenous Rangers from coastal northern Australia, from the Kimberly region to the Torres Strait, who work together in the removal and recycling of discarded fishing nets and marine debris that litter our coastlines. "GhostNets" drift in the ocean, sometimes for years, choking and killing turtles, fish and other marine life. It also addresses the problems that arise when discarded fishing nets drift to shore and litter the coastal regions of northern Australia. Fresh from our GhostNet Australia workshop film shoot on Erub island in the Torres Strait, Visual Obsession travelled to Moa island (which is one of the many islands that make up the Torres Strait) and shot the GhostNet shadow puppet play production "The Young Man and the Ghost Net".

All puppets and props in the play were constructed out of discarded ghost nets and marine debris by local school children and artists. All music, narration and puppetry was also performed by the local school children of Moa island and the St. Paul's church choir. The successful outcome for this documentary was to gather momentum not only to educate the children of the Torres Strait, but the entire community, about the destructive nature of drifting GhostNets and how to deal with this problem in their coastal region.

This documentary was selected from numerous video submissions, as one of only nine international documentaries to be highlighted at the 5th International Marine Debris Conference (5IMDC) Movie Night in Hawaii March 2011. In 2012, GhostNets Australia won the CREATIVE ARTS CATEGORY in the World Wildlife Fund Earth Hour Awards in New South Wales... a very popular choice.