Hoisting the sails for conservation

BEFORE setting sail on a five thousand nautical mile voyage to document conservation issues across South East Asia, the crew of Labyrinth will stop in Lismore to showcase their film.

It's the hometown of crew member Jolene Burr who had been working in marketing and sales before making a career back flip in 2013 to pursue full-time conservation work.

A poster for the Journey of the Labyrinth documentary series. Photo Contributed
A poster for the Journey of the Labyrinth documentary series. Photo Contributed Contributed

"I've always been conservation and environment focused and this was just an issue I noticed every day."

The environmental project, titled Voyage of the Labyrinth, will create three feature films focusing on conservation issues in Borneo, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The crew is comprised of Jase Kovacs, who used his life savings to buy a 1982 Searunner trimaran named in 2013 Labyrinth, his girlfriend Jolene Burr, and divers James Wilkinson and Roxanne Ames.

In Borneo, the team will explore what factors drive local fishermen to destroy reefs with explosive fishing bombs.

"We'll be looking at the social and economic pressures that are driving people to risk life and limb," he said.

Mr Kovacs said the use of explosives in fishing not only destroys every creature on the reef but also damages the reef itself.

"It's cheap and easy to do and a lot of people aren't concern about long term effects because they need to feed families today," he said.

Mr Kovacs said explosive fishing was not a conservation issue exclusive to Borneo.

While in Borneo the team will also look at the damage deforestation and palm oil plantations have on native animals such as the orang-utans.

Next, the team will sail to the Philippines, Raja Ampat, Komodo, Bali, Singapore and Langkawi to look at more issues like shark finning and eco-tourism. 

A poster for the Journey of the Labyrinth documentary series. Photo Contributed
A poster for the Journey of the Labyrinth documentary series. Photo Contributed Contributed

 

"Other stuff we'll be looking at is the rise of eco-tourism where it's more about getting people into the water with large animals but so over-exposed it becomes like a petting zoo," Mr Kovacs said.

"It leaves the animals at risk of infection or injured."

The crew will also visit the Philippines, Raja Ampat, Komodo, Bali, Singapore and Langkawi to explore issues like shark finning and eco-tourism.

The Labyrinth team are using crowd funding site Kickstarter to raise enough money to produce and promote the three feature films.

Mr Kovacs said backers would have the opportunity to pre-purchase the films and those who wish to make a more substantial contribution may receive sailing trips and scuba diving lessons.

For more information or to get behind the project go to www.jasekovacs.com.

 

Voyage of the Labyrinth are hosting a screening at Lismore Arts Space 7pm tonight.