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Protecting our local sea wildlife…details

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It’s true to say sea wildlife worldwide is under threat with dire consequences to species and environments. Our local sea wildlife is not immune with a threat of aggravation and destruction. With a need to protect our fragile local sea wildlife Debra Mar went down to Baha Mexican Restaurant in Rye on the weekend to find out how locals plan to protect our much loved bay creatures.

Boat on the Bay fundraiser has been set up to purchase a boat to help protect our local sea wildlife with the support of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Baha hosted the fundraiser to bring people together to fight for the common cause.

Co-ordinator of the Mornington Peninsula Sea Shepherd division, James Brown is the man 'driving' the fundraiser and spoke to the passionate crowd about the need to educate those who use motored craft such as jet skis and boats in the Bay. James advised, “There is a 300m ‘no go’ zone for jet ski’s and 100m ‘no go’ zone for boats.” He concluded, “Those caught breaking the law can face a $6,000 fine or up to a 6 month prison sentence.”

Ex-Citibank Corporate banker Philip Wollen OAM, 2007 Australian of the Year and an advocate for the protection of animals, addressed the crowd speaking with passion and conviction about the need for everyone to do their ‘bit’ for the world to help protect our animals. He explicitly described seas and oceans as ‘toxic soup’ with agricultural run-off, junk, sewage and chemicals flowing into it. It was a poignant reminder of the state of our ‘watery’ environment.

Lastly, Ships Donations Co-ordinator of Sea Shepherd, Haans Siver spoke about her adventure and amazing stories as part of an Antarctic crew member explaining some situations were a matter of life or death.

Local bands and music artists such as Surf Rock Instrumental band Goofyfooter, Jam Roots, Moonah Ripp and Heidi Louise Luckhurst performed, most of which have either recorded in the RPP FM’s BlueScope Performance Studio or have been special guests on various RPP FM local radio programs.

A live auction of goods and service kindly donated by local businesses, went under the hammer to help raise funds and Bendigo Bank donated $5,000 towards the cause and Philip Wollen matched the sum, also donating $5,000.

If you want to contribute to the purchase of a boat for The Boat on the Bay fundraiser or wish to become a volunteer contact James Brown on 0411 773 792.

Words Debra Mar

Pictured: James Brown, Co-ordinator of the Mornington Peninsula Sea Shepherd division (left) and Philip Wollen OAM, 2007 Australian of the Year and an advocate for the protection of animals (right) addressed a passionate crowd at the ‘Boat on the Bay’ fundraiser held at Baha  Rye.
Surf Rock Instrumental band, Goofyfooter with Glenn Allen and the boys.