Known to grow to the size of a small dog and live to 40 years old, the giant Tasmanian freshwater lobster is the largest of its kind in the entire world, but its home is being destroyed by sediment runoff from logging. However, there is hope – Todd Walsh the lobster man has grown up with this crayfish that gently inches its way around the northern rivers of Australia’s southern-most island. This is his plea to protect a rare and remarkable creature.
A Gentle Giant was released 2 August, 2016 via The Wilderness Society Facebook page and within 50-hours the film accumulated 500,000 views. It has since gone on to amass 874,000 views (November 2016), including 11,800 shares, over 11,000 reactions and thousands of comments from bloggers and importantly, Australian politicians.
The film has become the largest direct-response campaign for The Wilderness Society and was directly responsible for over 2,500 draft recovery plan submissions sent to the government to protect Tasmania’s threatened forests and rivers – the giant lobster’s home. The film also pressed Australia’s mainstream media to publish articles throughout various outlets (local and national).
The goal was to create discussion around the rare and largely unknown lobster and its habitat, and to help take action to protect it.
Here’s some of that discussion shortly after release of the film.
“I never thought I’d say this sentence, but that is one handsome crayfish!”
Ellen Sandell – Victorian State MP
It’s so wrong to be putting the survival of these amazing creatures at risk.
Janet Rice – Greens Senator for Victoria
“Sediment is just another word for shrimpo assassin…”
Jamie Champion – blogger
“We need the beauty and grace of the earth for another lifetime…”
Julie Chapman – blogger
“Amazing story that bloke —he still got all his fingers.”
Vorey Zakone – blogger
“This guy should be prime minister.”
Joel Baylon – blogger
ABC Australia (National) – Fears for Tasmanian freshwater lobsters
The Advocate (Tasmania) – Crayfish recovery plan more important than ever
Other articles published in The Australian (National) and The Examiner (Tasmania)
Genre: Environment conservation, Water, Advocacy
About the Filmmaker
Submitted by Mark Pearce
Mark Pearce is a multi-award winning Australian filmmaker. He’s written, directed and produced over 25 documentaries for the worldwide education market, 250+ television commercials, four narrative shorts and over a dozen social impact films. His environmental docs have won international awards in Europe, the United States, and Australia, and some of these same films have gone viral amassing millions of views and securing signatures for thousands of submissions and petitions to protect the places and wildlife we love. Mark is also a sincere “eco-prenuer”; animal rights action campaigner, photographer and journalist.
Filmmaker’s Website: http://www.balangarafilms.com