Life began in the ocean, and the ocean remains home to the majority of Earth's plants and animals – from tiny single-celled organisms to newer, less welcome species like the Forkfish, Bagus Plasticus, Cancerus Stickus, Balloonus Heliumus and Sixus Packus.
The ubiquitous Bagus Plasticus in the wild (left); a shoal of forkfish (right)
All these creatures evolved over the last 50 years. We don’t know how long they’ll last because none of them have ever died.
What’s got scientists most confused is why they don’t live where they should be – in the bin.
This is the story of a quirky video made by Streamline Media to highlight how litter is damaging our marine environment. The video features Rusty Swordfish, an environmentalist with a twist. Rusty introduces us to the newer ‘species’ in our oceans like plastics and cigarette butts.
“We see video as one of the most effective and engaging educational tools,” said Jarrod Boord from Streamline Media. “We wanted to spark new conversations around ocean debris and give people a tool to engage others on this issue.
“It was produced locally in Victoria but is relevant across the globe. We wanted a message that could be used anywhere in the world, so we could reach a global audience.”
The video is based on research from the Caring for our Bays program and other data sources such as Tangaroa Blue; an Australian, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to removing and preventing marine debris.
“Our video is travelling the globe!” explained Jarrod. “We reached more than 77,000 people on Facebook, with more than 25,000 genuine views of the video, around 300 likes and 139 shares. We also had 3,711 views and 51 likes on YouTube.”
Viewers left overwhelmingly positive comments such as:
The video is also being used as an education tool in classrooms across the globe. From the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre in Queenscliff, Victoria to classrooms in the Maldives.
Lots of organisations are using the video to raise awareness of marine debris.
“If we were to do this again, we would make shorter versions of the videos for promotion on social media, like one-minute snapshots. People don’t always have time to watch a ten-minute video when scrolling on Facebook.
“We would also apply for more funding to produce a series of videos rather than one long version. We are already working on this.”
“Thanks to further funding, we are developing more scripts using themes of litter, illegal dumping and holidaying in places with unique marine debris issues.
“Our film is still being shared online and at forums, including Melbourne Zoo and the Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre.
“This project is ongoing and Rusty Swordfish will be back on your screens soon!”
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