YouTube gives fish stock insight

AROUND Gladstone and up the coast, it is a whisper that is turning into something bigger. Most people haven’t heard of it yet, but if you get yourself into a conversation about fishing, there is every chance somebody will ask: “Have you seen those Law Essentials videos on YouTube?”

Michael Garrahy, a lawyer working for Law Essentials, has worked with commercial fishermen for many years. He has been recording video interviews with commercial fishermen and posting them on YouTube. The interviews, usually 5 to 10 minutes long, give the fishermen a chance to explain the changes they have seen in the health of the region’s fisheries, sometimes discussing the damage they fear industrial activity, including dredging, might be causing fish stocks.

Everyone agrees the interviews are outstanding sources of information, but Mr Garrahy said he did not consider it a form of journalism.

“I think it’s just really a platform. It’s not intended to replace any other form of media,” he said. “It’s just a way to let people give their particular thoughts on the issues.”

He said it was also a convenient way to bring people up to date on topics that are often difficult to understand, such as the dredging project in Gladstone Harbour.

“Basically, the volume of material is so large that it is very hard for ordinary people to get (their head around). Generally, people don’t read thousands of pages at a time. (By posting YouTube videos) we break it down and make it easier to digest and get on top of,” Mr Garrahy said.

Despite what some believe, Mr Garrahy said the first priority for commercial fishermen was not to gain compensation from projects such as the dredging but avoid those impacts altogether.

To hear firsthand the worries commercial fishermen have about fish stocks in the harbour, go to YouTube and enter the search term “Law Essentials Gladstone Harbour”.

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