All eyes on Whitsunday locals as film premieres
"TO THINK that something you've grown up with may not be there anymore - it is a horrible feeling and you want to do everything you can to keep that memory ... alive," explained Ocean Rafting skipper and environmental officer Sarah Perry during her big-screen debut on Monday night.
Ms Perry, along with local fishers Tammie Scott and Matt Fitzgerald, played starring roles in part two of the Sea & Me film The Eyes of the Reef, which premiered at the Australian Marine Conservation Society 50th anniversary event at the Whitsunday Arts and Cultural Centre this week.
The second instalment of the film traces the Great Barrier Reef's story through the eyes of people working on the reef.
On behalf of Ocean Rafting, Ms Perry leads the Eye on the Reef data collection program, where tour operators collect data in the green zones they visit everyday, including measuring water temperature and visibility.
Ocean Rafting's data shows a concerning drop in visibility in the past few years by four to five metres on average.
Also featuring in the film, local fisherwoman and owner of Whitsunday Seafood Company Tammie Scott said she was worried about the impact of mining and dredging on the Great Barrier Reef's water quality.
"We need to focus on the interconnectedness of the Great Barrier Reef and all of the marine ecosystems and environments," she said.
"Because our marine animals are depending on us that their habitats will be there into the future.
"Any hit to water quality in those areas has a huge affect on where the fish will be on their spawning and life cycles," Ms Scott said.