Daughters of the Deep founder Kate Parker is a full-time paediatric Speech Pathologist and in her spare time volunteers with Sea Shepherd. Originally taking on a role as an onshore volunteer in 2015 Kate helps to raise funds through selling merchandise at events and sharing the work of the organisation through outreach and education. She then progressed to offshore crewing and has been on 7 campaigns with Sea Shepherd, starting out as deck crew and most recently Bosun and is now about to head off on another campaign as an officer in the Bridge. You can hear more about the various Sea Shepherd campaigns from an earlier episode featuring Jeff Hansen, Global Director.
Kate also crews with the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard and spends most weekends out on the bay training and recovering vessels in distress. Kate has been working her way up for the last 4 years and is soon to take her Coxswains license to become a Skipper for the organisation.
Daughters of the Deep launched last year and is now a globally registered group whose aim is to address gender inequality throughout the marine industries. With her team of 4 colleagues, they help raise the profile of women in such roles as well as fundraising to support women in their own marine-based careers.
Kate is a qualified Dive Master and passionate diver, having been lucky enough to have dived in many locations around the world. This experience opened her eyes to both the beauty in the oceans but also the extent to which human life has damaged our planet and the necessity to fight for the protection of our seas. This inspired Kate to join Sea Shepherd and she regularly crews offshore defending marine environments. Kate also runs the Sea Shepherd Dive program in Australia/NZ with a goal to drive industry standards up to a more environmentally focused level.
Having seen first-hand the underrepresentation of women in many popular dive locations globally, Kate is honoured and excited to be part of a movement that combines both her core values regarding equal rights for women and her passion for conservation diving.
Kate Parker 00:06
Thank you so much. Yeah, my name is Kate Parker and I am from Sheffield, just the other side of the pen ions from you. And I grew up in England, probably was quite obsessed with the ocean from a young age, but didn’t get to spend much time in it being in a fairly landlocked place in the UK. But then I started travelling around about 2011 2012 and learn how to dive and got into Scuba diving and just kind of really cemented my love for the oceans and how fascinating everything was in that startup ball rolling into getting various certificates and did my dive masters in Koh Tao, and eventually moved over here to Melbourne in 2014. And started working in diving in Melbourne just on the weekends for fun, and eventually ended up going to see a screening of documentary that was being hosted by Sea Shepherd in Melbourne. And that really just started a huge snowball into joining the Sea Shepherd onshore crew doing some volunteering with them, which eventually turned into offshore volunteering, which then led to me joining the Australian coast guard, and spending a lot of time training with those guys and more recently saying my own conservation based project around supporting women to get into marine industries. So it really all came from that one chance viewing of a documentary with Sea Shepherd back in 2014 15. I think it was. And it’s led me on a path to various marine based conservation, voluntary activities. So yeah, it’s been it’s been an interesting road.
Matt Waters 01:40
Do you actually do you have any time for yourself?
Kate Parker 01:43
No, I sleep. I really enjoy everything that I do, though. And I feel like I get so much back from from the volunteer work that I do. It gives me so much joy, that I don’t really mind how much time it takes out of my day today. But yes, I’ll probably have oversubscribed myself somewhat.
Matt Waters 02:07
Yeah. But I suppose it falls into that bracket of you know, do what do what you enjoy, do what you love. That’s exactly right. And it’s that work life balance. So I have a career as a speech pathologist and I enjoy my job. But my passion would definitely be around ocean conservation. And I’m very lucky and fortunate to be in a position that I can manage both of those so I can get time off work to go and do my voluntary offshore cruising with Sea Shepherd. And I have a very supportive team that allow me to Yeah, have that work life balance. Yeah, pretty stoked with the way that I’ve managed to get things set up. Okay, I’m curious, what’s a speech pathologist. So a speech pathologist is somebody who helps anyone communicate, if they’ve got issues with communication. There’s also a little bit around head and neck anatomy and swallowing difficulties. But when you train as a speech pathologist, you train in all areas from you know, newborns all the way up to end of life. And then you’re specialised, so my specialism is in mainstream schools. So I support children who are struggling to access the curriculum, based through language difficulties or communication difficulties, whether it’s understanding or verbalising, what they want to say, or articulation issues or social pragmatic issues like autism cohort, or you know, any situation literacy difficulties, any situation where they’re not really able to engage with communication, our team will be able to support them to access the curriculum. So it’s pretty, pretty damn interesting. Does that cover all like, is dyslexia involved in that as well? Yeah. So a lot of our work is moving into that literacy space and supporting children with literacy difficulties. Yeah. So a lot of code. It’s honest. It’s mostly consultative what I’m doing. So it’s a lot of coaching of teaching staff. How to communicate. Yeah. And I picked up on yesterday said, you mentioned it briefly the other day that you did your training your dive training in Koh Tao Sure did.
Kate Parker 04:03
Matt Waters 04:07
I know, right. It seems like everybody that comes on this show has been the Kotel at some point in their road. Dive career. That’s it. And you were there as well. Which, which dive centre was it? Oh, well, yeah. Big Blue. Yeah. Big Blue.
Kate Parker 04:19
I was sorry, cottage. And that would that was with a commonly said the other day. Trevor and Barry, were running it when I was there. I’m not sure if it’s changed hands much. But yeah, the two Irish brothers. So yeah, it was a wild time. As you can imagine. I think there was eight of us who went through and did our divemasters at the same time. So lots of what do they call it the snorkel run or whatever at the end parties on Koh Tao as you can imagine, I’m still in touch with a lot of them. I’m not sure how many of them are still working in diving. But yeah, it was a really cool experience. And yeah, I’m really glad that we decided we were travelling with my friend and I and we’d done our open water and then I advanced another rescue and like everyone else, just kind of sacrifice some of us travel time to do that certificate. And I’m actually really glad that I did. Because when I like I said, when I moved to Melbourne, I got into diving here. And that funded a lot of like the pay that I got from that I just bought all of my own dive gear with. So it taught me about diving in cooler waters, and I ended up doing my drive dry suit diving certain. So yeah, it definitely opened a lot of doors for me. And just to make you more confident in the water. I mean, I haven’t worked as a dive master in a while. But it’s always nice to feel that level of confidence. When you do go back into it. You sort of know what you’re doing. I think it’s definitely worthwhile doing, even if you don’t work as a divemaster. Yeah, yeah, just having that experience, especially with what you’re doing with C sharp at now as well. And, you know, you never know, you never know what you’re gonna get into. Absolutely, yeah, if we get a proc file, someone’s gonna get in the water and get the rope out from other engines. So
Kate Parker 05:49
yeah, anyone with a diving certificate as a shepherd is handy.
Matt Waters 05:53
Hey, now just just saying about Sea Shepherd and diving. What’s the what’s the go with the diving element to shepherd?
Kate Parker 05:59
Yeah, so one of the campaigns that I run or set up in Australia as part of Sea Shepherd is the Sea Shepherd dive campaign. It’s only currently in Australia and New Zealand. But it’s basically a way that we’re trying to set up a network of dive schools that have the same environmental focus as us. And by partnering with these dive schools, we can set up a network so that people who want to dive somewhere where they know, the dive school is going to uphold the same environmental values they can find us on, find those dive schools on our website, and then just contact those five schools and go diving with them. So we have certain standards that the diver schools have to meet. And that’s around things like, obviously, like not anchoring on coral reefs, and making sure you’re disposing of your waste appropriately. And single use plastics and those kinds of things like ocean based things. And if the diver schools can agree to those rules, then they can partner with us. And then we can promote them and they can sell our merchandise through their stores. And if they want to do dive cleanups, we can send onshore volunteers to support them. So it’s kind of like a business partnership. But the whole, the whole ethos been to sort of drive industry standards up so that a lot of our dive schools, you know, they really want to come onto the programme. They’re striving to be really environmentally focused, but they might sell fishing equipment in a dive store or something like that. And so by having these rules, hopefully we’re inspiring people. All right, and we have had this happen before we said, you take your fishing equipment out, we dive store, and you can join the programme. And they have and that’s just then helped reduce that impact on the ocean of sport fishing and recreational fishing. So yeah, it’s it’s an idea to set up a network network throughout Australia and New Zealand and hopefully we could move it into the global market. But at the minute, we’re just trying to get that network going over here. So that we can have a whole host of environmentally focused I have schools that people can go to. That’s the plan anyway.
Matt Waters 07:46
Does it cost the dye school anything?
Kate Parker 07:48
Gotta subscribe. Yeah, so they pay us a subscription to be part of the programme. And then in return, they get benefits. So they get things like discount of merchandise that they can sell on at their own price, and they get access to our logo that they can put on their website and on their you know, communications around anything that doing so they can say we are an official Sea Shepherd dive partnered school, you would we’ll place them on our websites and stuff so that anybody who comes to Sea Shepherd who wants to go, you know, directly dive schools, they can just jump on. So they’ve got access to all of our media or post about them on our Sea Shepherd diver Facebook page and things like that. So yeah, it’s like a sort of a two way supporting each other kind of agreement. Yeah,
Matt Waters 08:25
yeah, I’m, I’m a big advocate for it. Because you know, to shepherd as big as it is, if it was free to join, then everybody under the sun would want to be in on it. Or at least if they’re having to pay a subscription, then you get into people that are committed properly.
Kate Parker 08:38
That’s it. And I think it’s about yeah, having those dive schools that can stand out in a in a whole strip of dive schools and say, We are the ones to come to if you want environmentally focused diving. And the dive schools that we already have in the programme are doing amazing things, you know, they’re setting up their own fundraising events and inviting some of the Sea Shepherd Apex harmony crew to come and give talks and watch documentaries and engaging with the community and they’re engaging with our marine debris team who do beach cleanups and dive cleanups and an organising their own dive cleanup. So they’re doing they’re doing such fantastic work, and we really want to promote them and, and make them be the standout environmental dive school in the area. So yeah, it’s kind of more of a niche thing, rather than like everyone can a partner. But to be honest, like, I understand that for a lot of small businesses, you know, diving doesn’t always provide all of the financial input that you need. And some of our dive schools do run fishing trips in order to, you know, support their income and things like that. So it isn’t always achievable for all all dive schools, but we hope that the ones that really have that environmental focus will will strive to join the programme to be able to say, you know, we are the renowned environmental dive school in in our patch, essentially, yeah,
Matt Waters 09:48
I can imagine it being a little bit more difficult. I mean, start getting into Southeast Asia where, you know, one of the one of the main sources of
Kate Parker 09:54
food over there as you know, fish. Yes, absolutely. And so, I’ve been a little bit difficult to try and maintain you Absolutely so that the programme was originally in a global market, and then we changed it for the Australian market. So it’s very specific around. Yeah. As you said, like very privileged people who have the financial capacity to avoid eating fish, you know, it’s not for sustenance. It’s just a pleasure. But we are thinking about potentially in a global market, how that would look. And absolutely, we would have to change some of the rules and regulations around that to to fit that market. So that’s why it’s just Australia and New Zealand at the moment.
Matt Waters 10:29
Yeah, I just jumped on to have a quick look. So you’ve got on there. And there’s a couple of names. I can see straightaway is Dr. Jarvis. But yeah, that was awesome. Peeps down at woebegone free. Yeah,
Kate Parker 10:39
so good. Yeah. Yeah. Now we’ve got a it’s a small community at the moment, but we’re hoping to grow it. So yeah, I think it’s got a lot of potential to help spread that environmental message into just to help people really think about what they’re doing, because it’s only small changes in the Australian market that needs to be made to, to change, you know, the impact that we have. I mean, even diving in itself, can have negative impacts on the environment. You know, being on Koh Tao, you know, things like Japanese gardens where all the trainee divers go, there’s barely any coral there. So you know, we really need to be mindful as much as we want to enjoy the ocean and we want to experience all these wonderful things and become passionate about saving it. Even just diving as a hobby can have negative environmental impacts. And, you know, we need to be conscientious of that. And I think this programme is a good way to promote like those big being mindful of, you know, what you’re taking on board ships, you know, are you taking things that will end up in the ocean and cause damage through plastic pollution? You know, or just all those little things just sort of remind us to, to make sure that our sport is, is still good for the environment? Yeah, for
Matt Waters 11:43
sure. And lifestyle. cutouts are brilliant example. Because in the height the date, because we were there roughly the same time,
Kate Parker 11:49
I believe so yeah, I would have said 2012. Yeah.
Matt Waters 11:53
Yeah. Yeah, I got that. In fact, I landed. I landed in Bangkok on Boxing Day early. I was on Boxing Day morning. 2012.
Kate Parker 12:01
Wow. Yeah, I was on ko town Boxing Day. 2012. Yeah.
Matt Waters 12:05
We probably don’t want the same people with with a monumental hangover.
Kate Parker 12:09
Absolutely. I mean, have you met Trevor Barry?
Matt Waters 12:14
I am. Yeah, I know. I got stuck in Bangkok. I was there for about almost two weeks, because it was just so full with with people who’d booked up on the ferries and the planes damage summary. Oh, right. Okay, I’m gonna take it. Yeah. Wow. Crazy. So I didn’t actually get onto Koh Tao until the start of January. Oh, gosh. Yeah,
Kate Parker 12:31
yeah, I think we left probably a beginning of Feb. So we might have just, you know, we probably had a few beers in Bonanza at some point
Matt Waters 12:40
is distinct possibility.
Kate Parker 12:43
But yeah, I mean, Kota. It’s, it’s, it’s a beautiful spot. But I did I did. You know, when you do your dive masters, and you have to do that submit that plan. And it talks about, you know, how many divers are on the island, I think it was would have something like 6000 divers in the water every day. And was it bands or someone like that had that massive dive though. And they were just shocked. It was like a factory farm. They were just chucking divers in the water all day long. And you sort of think like, oh, gosh, you know, such a beautiful, remote place and such pristine diving. And the tourism is good in one sense, because it brings money in to the economy and things like that. But then the offset is, you know, what is the impact on the corals around there and the pollution? I mean, I remember, we were fastidiously recycling our water bottles the whole time that we were there in the recycling points, and then found out afterwards, they just take them to the side of the island and burn them. So you know, it’s like, there are a lot. I think there’s a lot of firsts at the moment for the ecotourism and things like that. But with that comes all that greenwashing. And you’ve got to be really stringent about who you’re diving with and what actually are their practices. And I, as much as I love my time on Kotel, I worry for that place, because I can only imagine it it’s got bigger and there’s more and more diverse schools there. And, you know, how long is that coral going to be? Look at the Great Barrier Reef, you know, like there’s so many places now that people say are not not good for diving. And I know that there’s all these issues with coral bleaching and things like that. But I wonder how much tourism has had an impact on that as well. And, you know, there’s very popular places that just get kind of hounded. You know, we need to be mindful of how much impact we’re having there too.
Matt Waters 14:19
All I think this this last couple of years, or COVID is going to be exceptionally good for the likes of Koh Tao and the ghillies that kind of those areas that get super busy just having a reset that was talking to Elaine from Master divers and you know, by the height there was almost I think she said it was in the low 90s The amount of dive shops that were available on Koh Tao Wow. Ranging from the super big ones to those individuals that were you know, booking stuff online. Yeah. And now it’s, it’s in the low 30s If not below that, because of this hard reset. Okay, so a couple of years of not having people there has made a significant difference for the good Yeah. With all the macro that’s been found as well, it’s amazing.
Kate Parker 15:04
Yeah. I mean, yeah, obviously we don’t really want to wish a global pandemic, to be the reason that we reduce Judas Ranadive stores. But you know, I don’t know if you’ve been to places like CIPA down in Borneo, and those are very, very famous, but very well protected places. And they just have a certain number of permits per day. Same. We went to the Cocos Island of Costa Rica. I think it’s like 50 people in the water every day. And I think managing the load like that is probably the way to go in order to protect some of this. But did you ever go to sail rock? Was it called it was about a two hour trip off? Koh Tao? Yeah, you know, limited access, limited number of people have going I think we can still enjoy the beauty and we can still get inspired. Impact of so many divers in the water?
Matt Waters 15:53
Yeah. It was it something that happened in in the Samoan islands. I was Tripoli there for hallelujah for big blue garlic. And this particular year, they decided the government decided that that had enough and they were restricting numbers. So you could, you could only get a limited amount of park entry tickets per day. And you had to pre book them. So they massively started to regulate it. And I’ve got to say, as the as much as there’s so many busy locations in Thailand, once the Thai government decides they’ve had enough, and they’re going to clamp down and do some good, they do it in in good style. It was what 2014 I think you could still get on to Kota Chai Island. And they decided no, we’ve had enough. No one’s going on it. And no one stepped foot on that island again since right now.
Kate Parker 16:51
Is that I think a similar thing happened. Is that what happened in Bora Kai in the Philippines, is that that big party place? It actually is that where they fit? No, I’m getting confused. And it’s like where they filmed that film with Leonardo, the island, because that place is the beach. Yeah. Pee pee pee pee, because that place got trashed as well didn’t know, unfortunately. But I think that when when the government does step in and say not enough is enough, we’re going to shut this down. I think that’s really important. And it makes me think, Oh, that’s good that the government have got that, you know, value for for those areas. Because obviously tourism, like we said, is helpful in places that need a boost to their economy. But eventually, we’re just going to trash everywhere. That’s beautiful, and no one’s going to go. So it’s important to preserve those areas, as well so that we can still enjoy them in the future.
Matt Waters 17:39
Just a bit. Yeah. So you said that, just bringing it a bit closer to home, you said you’ve done some diving down in Melbourne as well. I’ve never actually dived in Melbourne yet. Yeah, right. I keep hearing about it.
You’ll have to come down.
Matt Waters 17:55
Yeah, it’s literally a fleeting visit. I’m there for one or two days and then off again. Yeah,
Kate Parker 17:58
yeah, yeah. Yeah. No, I was really surprised because I’ve only ever done you know, fairweather diving on all my dive travels around the world. It was all very nice tropical diving, which is great. And you know, you get a massive mixture of macro and micro in those places, and great beers and stuff like that. So when I started diving in Melbourne, I was a bit kind of, oh, gosh, you know, this water is cold. And it’s kind of a bit soupy. And it’s hard and it’s current. But actually on a good day in Melbourne, I would say is, is probably actually my preference in terms of diving, because the types of creatures that you can see are just so fantastic. And you know, we did I did a lot of diving when I was working the dive school out in the middle of the bay, and there’s the old river that runs down through the middle and the I think it was down to about 100 metres. So there’s some great walls, and all the guys were getting on their rebreathers and going super deep. And you can go out through the heads and they’ve got a place called the ship’s graveyard where there’s lots of old decommissioned vessels have been dumped out there. So there’s like submarines and stuff that you can go and dive around. And there’s lots and lots of wrecks in the bay because it’s quite sort of treacherous coming in through the the cooler heads. It’s just a very small space where all the water comes into a large body of water in the bay. And that was sort of fun, and I enjoyed it. But actually for me, if you go underneath some of the peers and just Do you can you know you can go down for an hour, you only go down five or 10 metres but the variety of sea creatures, which is really why I dive is just amazing from like tiny little nudies the size of your fingernail that are like bright pink to sort of sea horses. We’ve got Weedy sea dragons in Melbourne, which has just been on my bucket list since I first got a copy of blue planet as a young girl and was totally inspired. You know, and you can be spending hours looking around really deep in the water really close tiny, tiny, tiny little things. And then all of a sudden a great big flat grey ray will come swim past like an elephants just walked in the room. They’re like Well, hello. You know, it’s just a real beautiful mixture. We’ve got incredible cuttlefish I think the first time I ever did in Melbourne, we saw cuttlefish I think there were other Matey You’re fighting or possibly this both of ones. But you know, they’re changing all the colours. They’re their bodies changing shape. It’s just it’s like being in blue planet. We’ve got the spider crab migration here in Melbourne which is fascinating it just in terms of in terms of the variety of things that you can see, I think Melbourne has an absolute lot to offer at what Victoria as a whole, you know, there’s a lot of cave diving that’s happening. There’s a lot of like sinkholes and freshwater that you can go and dive in. I haven’t done that yet. But yeah, you definitely have to come down and explore I think it’s, it’s a probably underrated part of the world for diving for sure.
Matt Waters 20:32
Yeah, definitely. Well, my other half her. Her brother lives in Melbourne. Oh, cool. So no excuses. A three or four day visit. I’ll give you a shout.
Kate Parker 20:42
Definitely, that would be lovely.
Matt Waters 20:44
Hey, just think about sea dragons. Are you? Are you up to date with the the what’s it called the The Campaign to Save the pier down there. Yeah,
Kate Parker 20:56
yeah. So Flinders pier. We were down there the other day? Absolutely. Yeah, those guys are a great organisation as well. And yeah, we did a actually a beach clean with Sea Shepherd marine debris team not long ago, and we removed tonnes and tonnes of rubbish off that beach because it was a wrecked yacht, I think. So there was some old like big massive mooring lines and stuff that was embedded in the sand and we got four by fours and drag them all out. So it’s quite dramatic. But yeah, the safe fin. Save Flinders pier crew. Were all down there. And yeah, they’re doing some fantastic work. And I think it’s, it’s really important to preserve those old those old places where the wildlife is so heavily embedded. I actually was involved with a really interesting project. Similar to what you’re talking about, have you heard about what happened at Blair gallery with the old wave wall? Yeah, so there was an there was an old way for there that was being restored or that we’re putting in a new wave wall at the marina and one of our dive partners called dive to you started this, this this programme, I suppose to try and save all of the wildlife down there. And what they did was absolutely incredible. So what they did was that they agreed with Blair Gary that the new wave will that rather than taking down everything and putting in the new sections all along go there do it bit by bit. And by doing it bit by bit, it gave us time so he’d got a lot of deep divers to get into the water and we would literally removing all like the corals and the Assyrians from the old wave wall and a moving them onto the new wave wall and he had like bungee cords, and he trialled all different types of underwater glue to stick the the one that the corals onto the new wave walls. And one day, so I did a bit of work with them helping them moving across. And it was super successful. And one day my job was just to relocate, relocate all the animals. So I was just like a little fairy taking all the little nudies over to their new home and depositing them it was super cute. And yeah, so they just went section by section and you know, it was absolutely freezing cold, we were in the water for far too long. And very, very, very cold temperatures couldn’t fill in fingers when he came out. But they managed to relocate all of that wildlife. And it took really well to the new wave wall. So that was a fantastic project. I wish there would be more like that around the world. And you know, maybe if they have to do something like that with Flinders would, it would be fantastic to try and save all of those creatures from losing their habitats.
Matt Waters 23:18
keeping my eye on that one because I spoke to Charles Reese about it. It must be six months ago, if not a little bit longer. Yeah. And I saw John Jenkins. I think it’s John Jenkins is involved as well. But I should get them on the show as well. Talk about in detail about it. Definitely. Yeah. But it’s looking very, very positive so far.
Kate Parker 23:38
Yeah. And that’s the power of community campaigning, isn’t it and raising awareness. Like that’s what that’s what we do, isn’t it and advocacy for all these important things that I think it’s so easy to just just government that makes decisions, and it just goes under the radar. And we don’t notice. So that’s a real good example of the community standing up and saying we don’t, we don’t want this and we’re going to we’re going to campaign and we’re going to cause a fuss and we’re going to raise awareness and show the world what’s happening and actually make those changes and stand up against those government decisions. So I think that’s fantastic. Yeah.
Matt Waters 24:11
Speaking of politicians and hiding shit. Have you had chance to see the snippet from Peter wish Wilson the other day? Senator Peter wish wills
was was this
Matt Waters 24:23
hidden in Parliament isn’t done in Tassie
Matt Waters 24:26
jumping up and down. Was that when he was Yeah, what a rock star? What a rock star. I love that guy. He’s a legend. He’s amazing. Guy a lot. You’re
Matt Waters 24:35
probably the only politician in the world that I actually like
Kate Parker 24:38
100%. Yeah. And his Instagram is Senator surfer. It’s just pictures of him surfing.
Matt Waters 24:44
Well, I actually put that put the snippet on the Scuba goat page, just simply because it’s a perfect example of how politan politicians will not answer a direct question
absolutely of bullshit just coached into it. Yeah,
Matt Waters 24:58
I don’t mind saying that. Say Senator Hume, you did a great job of being a politician because you didn’t answer the question. I’m sorry. Yeah, they must
Kate Parker 25:05
have a special politicians school on how to not answer a question because they all have the same trait. But you know, it is amazing. And people like, Peter wish Wilson, you know that it’s so fantastic that he’s made it that far. Because, you know, it’s so frustrating seeing all these people that are ill don’t want to get into a hugely political debate. But I saw a good friend of mine who’s like a very well known person in his community, a teacher in a local school tried to get into politics just on that very bottom rung because he was passionate about his area that he lived in. And he ran to be a local, in the local, local candidate, or whatever. And he didn’t get in, but even hearing his stories of like, how corrupt it was even on that very first rung of the ladder, how many people were getting, you know, secretly had their votes were joined together in the background, because they were actually a couple. And if you vote for one, you’re actually voting for the other and bribery and people getting paid off the lies, promising stuff that didn’t happen. You just think like, how does anybody with actual good heart and soul get to that level of Parliament when it’s so impossible to even get a foot in the door without being a totally corrupt person, and the people at the top just would have to be that level of corrupt mess? Right? You know, it’s so frustrating. So go go Peter, for you know, managing to swallow, rubbish to stay in. So I don’t think I could cope with that.
Matt Waters 26:18
I think he’s, he’s got to be one of the very few that actually is trying to do what he says. Yeah, it kind of, it’s almost like a reality TV show that the reality is, it’s all like Australian survivor. You know, yeah, I’m going to do this to help you, but then I’m going to stab you in the back when it comes to getting rid of you. And that’s exactly what goes on in politics. It’s ludicrous. But I wish him all the best. And I hope he does get some great successes, but he’s up against a bloody big brick wall shot, for sure, for sure. Anyway, I could go on about politics all day long. Okay. Let’s, let’s let’s circle back with the background to your experiences with Sea Shepherd. So you’ve been on several campaigns?
Kate Parker 26:59
That’s right. Yeah. So I sort of joined after I saw that documentary, whenever it was 2015, I became an onshore volunteer for quite some time. But then that, I don’t know, I just became obsessed with the organisation, I, you know, I think it’s one of those things where you don’t know what you don’t know. And, and when I joined, and I started watching some videos and clips of some of the things that are happening out in the ocean, I realised just the extent of, of the damage that were causing, and it’s so out of sight, out of mind. And I just became really, you know, fascinated to learn more and passionate to do something about it. And it got to the point where I was helping out with one of the ships that was docked in Melbourne. And I was like, taking time off work to go and, you know, scrub around in the engine room and just do anything I could to be on that boat. So eventually, I asked my manager to give me some time off to go on to do an offshore campaign, but she granted me which is, you know, the key reason why I was able to do it, which I’m very grateful for. But yeah, so I ended up going on the last campaign to the southern oceans, it was called Operation Nemesis to Antarctica to to oppose Japanese whaling, which has been, you know, very well publicised and probably what we’re most well known for here in Australia. And then I jumped straight from that over to a campaign in Mexico called Mulago, where we’re trying to save a porpoise from going extinct. It is not the target of illegal fishing, but a fish that is being targeted. The fisherman there or the poachers are using nets that are accidentally killing this Nikita, poor person. Now, when I first went out there, I think there was about 50 left, and now they think there’s less than 10. So I’ve been going back to that campaign pretty much every year since I went out there in 2017. So it’s been running now we’re on the eighth year of running that campaign. And it’s changed a lot over the years and our tactics have had to change. But we were alongside the Mexican government. We have the military police and army onboard our vessels. Because essentially, the the poachers are extra runners because the fish they’re trying to catch it swim bladder is is worth well, more than cocaine. Now. It’s worth a lot of money on the black market in Asia. So they’re desperately trying to catch this fish. It’s worth, you know, 1000s of dollars. Yeah, so that’s what I’ve been mostly doing. And then I did a campaign where we did a transit up to Mexico, and we ended up going to that Cocos Island that I was talking about before of Costa Rica and doing a big cleanup there and removing I think about 40 tonnes of illegal fishing gear that the park rangers who live on the island had confiscated. So, yeah, it’s been an incredible ride. I’ve got to see some amazing things. And
Matt Waters 29:32
I think yeah, I think I saw that one when I was, in fact, our Jeff Jeff Jeff Hanson, flag that one. We talked about that one briefly, when he was on the show. Yeah, that was, that was a lot of fishing in
Kate Parker 29:44
incredible so that Cocos Island is the most beautiful place I think I’ve ever been to because there’s no one there. It’s not a tourist destination. Literally the only people that live there are about eight. Park rangers from Costa Rica and their wives pretty much and And then they patrol the waters it is a designated marine park. But as we know, there’s very little policing in those kinds of areas and they’re also very popular for illegal fishing. So those park rangers have been patrolling and confiscating you know, long lines and things like that, but had been stockpiling on their island for a long time didn’t have a means to remove it. So we took our vessel the white Holly, which is enormous and can take I think, about 100 tonnes inside her inside her in areas, she’s got a lot of storage space inside. And we’ve just helped them remove that gear. And you know, I just, it was mind blowing, we went on to the island and they showed us this warehouse essentially that was floor to ceiling filled with these really plastic it you know, that’s what’s it called? I can’t remember it’s polyfiber whatever the plastic nets that are just so barbaric. You know, we were getting our feet caught in them. I can’t imagine what it would be like for an animal caught in those nets are just horrible. And then just buckets and buckets and barrels and barrels of longline hooks, you know, there’s massive, great big several inches large hooks that get caught inside the animals faces like, oh, just awful. And anyway, it was so nice to be able to take all that stuff away and think about how much less you know, these fishing devices will be in the ocean, but it’s probably only a small, small, tiny drop in comparison to what’s still out there. But yeah, it was it was great. And one of the best things about that was that they actually allowed us to go on the island, which is not not normal. But we agreed with our captain managed to agree with them very kindly. And we did this walk we went over to the other side. And there was a stone that had been carved by Jacques Cousteau, like back in the day had like a carving from when he had been there in the late 80s or something. Yeah, so it was pretty cool. To see that.
Matt Waters 31:43
Was that is that the same island because Pete Bethune was telling us about how they used picked up a new saying the long lines there. And they were catching the fishing vessels, that were slinging out the long lines outside the borders of the marine park, and then cutting the corner to drag the lines through the marine park and then almost effectively pretending to bring them back in as though they weren’t. Yeah, heading off home.
Kate Parker 32:11
Yeah. Oh, there’s all sorts of things that go on like that. I’m not Yeah, I’m not sure if that’s exactly in that area. But I mean, I think there’s there’s a lot of fishing, that happens in places that are supposed to be protected, just because there’s not enough capacity to police them very heavily. So there’s a lot of that stuff happening. But I’ve definitely seen in Mexico when they, you know, the fishermen that or the poachers, sorry, they’ll have the legal nets. And they’ll they’ll pull them out and show us Oh, look, here are legal nets. But then actually, when we pull them out, there’ll be attached to an illegal net. So the illegal based on the size of the holes in them. So the small shrimp fishes can have small holes in their nets. But the fish they’re trying to catch the total average is a much larger fish. And they did call them gill nets to the holes are, you know, like 20 centimetres wide square, and they catch the fish by the gills. And they’re illegal. So they’ll have their legal nets in the water. And they’ll show us that that’s what they’ve got. But then actually, where if we recover them, they probably have the illegal ones on the end. And then sometimes even on the end of that they have long lines attached on the end of those illegal acts. So there’s a lot of that kind of trying to try to trick people and trying to make it look like they’re doing the right thing when they’re still illegally fishing that’s happening around the world, unfortunately, which is a huge issue. Yeah,
Matt Waters 33:23
it’s insane. And I mean, I don’t know how it’s always gonna pan out, because my personal opinion over this last year, or even two years of doing this podcast, more and more inclined to believe that the oceans pretty damn screwed. And what we’re doing is just delaying or, you know, the delay delay and how long it is before it’s completely screwed. I don’t think that there’s enough good people in the world and people that understand the severity, to actually make a massive difference straightaway.
Kate Parker 33:58
I have to agree with you and and it makes me really sad. And I remember when I first joined Sea Shepherd some more long term volunteers telling me you know, you will, you will go through this anger and sadness when you really understand the extent and how little is being done about it. So, I don’t want to be pessimistic, but I do agree that I agree that there’s not enough information out there. But I also think that there’s there’s willing, there’s willing ignorance of that, you know, you can share all this information, but then people still want to have fish fingers, so they’re going to outlast crab. Yeah. But I’m not going to stop or change my habits. It’s the link between sharing the information and actually doing something about it. That is is the bit that’s we’re struggling with and whether that’s just, you know, humans being so so bred to believe that they are you know, top of the food chain that we can do with one or that just that dissonance between what we’re consuming in terms of what we’re eating but also industrial like purchasing global global any thing, clothing, everything that we’re buying, you know, it’s all having an impact on the planet. And I think there isn’t enough people getting the message out there. But even when the message is put out there, there’s not enough people willing to hear it. And I think that’s ultimately going to be our downfall, when you know, the facts around, you know, 90% of our oceans overfished two football fields of the rainforests are getting pulled down every second, you know, like, all these statistics are out there. But people just don’t want to hear them. And I think that’s the most frustrating thing as an activist, or as an ocean lover, to, to not just get angry about it and stand on your soapbox and yell and be like, You should do something about this, because that doesn’t get everyone onside either. It’s about trying to share the information in a way that’s going to actually make people change their habits. And, you know, I feel lucky here in Melbourne that I surround myself with other people have similar values to me. But I, I know that that’s a bit of a bubble that I live in. And actually, probably most of the rest of the world don’t have those values. So yeah, it’s a tough one. I agree. I think the oceans are very, very close to collapse.
Matt Waters 36:03
And I’ll show that. But I’m also very aware that there’s an awful lot of the world that are completely oblivious, of the importance. And now that we’re moving into that, that age, that digital age of being able to communicate, and it’s not no longer communication within your own little village. It’s it’s global communication. And the more that people are made aware of the importance of what’s going on, then they can start acting locally. And I think we’ve seen that an awful lot more in the more remote locations as people start to understand the importance. Absolutely. Yeah. And I think so I’m kind of, I don’t want to say I don’t want to say I’m a fence sitter, but I’m kind of caught between the two realms of it’s, it’s fucked. And we can do something about it. I think it’s just that constant. Like you say, you don’t you can’t stand and shout and scream about it and make a difference.
Kate Parker 36:56
Yeah, absolutely. And I would agree with that. I think, you know, I think we are a lot closer to the end of than people realise, potentially, you know, I don’t know if you’ve heard recently about, like the the heating of overheating in the Arctic and the Antarctic, and then the recent collapse of the ice shelf. You know, these things are happening incredibly, regularly. People talk about these one off freak events, the fires in Australia, the floods, but they’re not one off events. They’re happening all the time. And I think if people could understand the urgency, then we might have more. More response. But yeah, I think people are coming to the party, but perhaps not with the speed that we need.
Matt Waters 37:40
We can only do what we can do. And see how are we going? Did you get it? Have you been on? Have you been to Africa at all on these campaigns that you’ve done? No, I
Kate Parker 37:48
haven’t. Yeah, I’d love to. I know that there’s a lot of campaigns with Sea Shepherd off the coast of places like Gabon, and Liberia. And those campaigns are fantastic, because that’s, that’s really targeting one of the biggest issues for OSHA is not obviously, we’re not going after people who are just fishing to survive. You know, it’s these global fishing organisations that are often very, criminally run. And they’re huge, huge trawlers and huge fleets of vessels that are just absolutely plundering oceans at a staggering rate. And these campaigns in Africa are fantastic, because we’re, what we’re doing is we’re, we’re not, you know, just going in there and trying to fix things ourselves, we’re actually taking local fishing authorities, local, local government officials from those areas and providing the resources as in a boat physically, to help them enforce the laws in their waters. So we’ll take the local officials, and we’ll approach a vessel that’s fishing in the local waters. And we will board those vessels and we will inspect what they have in their catch, and we’ll look at their licences. And more often than not, they’re fishing for one thing, but they’ve caught about a million other things. And they’ve got a freezer full of shark fins and whatever else is going on. That’s illegal. And so then being able to issue fines and bring them to justice and try and shut some of those organisations down. So yeah, I think those campaigns are super important, because that’s really targeting one of the very top top destroyers of the ocean, if you will, like those huge, huge fleets. Yeah, I’d love to get involved in one of those campaigns. One day, it’ll happen. It’s definitely on the list.
Matt Waters 39:29
Hey, speaking of large fleets, do you know if Sea Shepherd have any plans to head down a Galapagus? Because I have a funny feeling. Those Chinese vessels will be back at some point this year.
Kate Parker 39:42
I absolutely agree. I don’t know I’m not privy to that information, unfortunately. But I can only cross my fingers and hope I know that we did have a very successful campaign there was last year wasn’t it looking at the the amount of squid fishing that was happening over the Chinese fleets? Yeah, I mean, poor old Galapagus like one of the most beautiful places on the planet that desperately needs To be preserved, and its waters just getting plundered, and then C Sharp has been operating in that area. We’ve had campaigns based campaigns over there years ago, like 20 years ago, it’s definitely a place of note for us. It’s just really about how we can organise our campaigns to work with local government and to be as effective as possible. But yeah, I mean, I hope so I think one thing that I wanted to touch on as well, that came out of it was highlighted in that that campaign, and for me was another big reason why I joined Sea Shepherd is also like, what people don’t realise is it’s not just the amount of plundering of the oceans, but it’s the actual human trafficking and slavery that’s happening on these enormous vessels. So that one of the big flip points for me was that the first time I went down to Sea Shepherd as an onshore volunteer, and I saw a little clip of a campaign they’ve done in Antarctica, where they found a vessel that was fishing illegally for something called the to fish. And it was run by a group of criminals from Spain, actually, but their entire crew were from Indonesia. And when Sea Shepherd eventually chased them and told them to go to port. And they did and the captain scuttled on his own vessel, that vessel, there’s a great documentary called Chasing the thunder, you can watch it learn about that, we had to bring all of these people on board our vessel, and that they were in, you know, just grateful to get off, like the conditions that a lot of these people are captain, and it’s just horrific. And I know Greenpeace has been doing a lot of work in that area. You know, they take people often illegally, they take their passports, often when they come on board. And these people can be trapped on board these vessels for you know, 789 years, these vessels don’t go to port, they have other refuelling vessels that come out to them. And they’re literally kept as slaves. And I think people think, oh, that doesn’t happen anymore. But the amount of human trafficking that’s happening in the in the global fishing industry is absolutely disgusting. And you know, when that the Chinese vessels were approached by the Sea Shepherd volunteers, I don’t know if you caught that. But our volunteers went over, and we’re talking to them. And what this is July 2021, and one of the things that they asked our volunteers was has COVID left China, because they they had left China so long ago, they didn’t even know they had no access to media, they had no access to the outside world, they had no idea that the global pandemic had even taken place. And you just think that’s horrific. Like even if you don’t care about the oceans, if you care about people, you should you should be, you should be avoiding these organisations that you just don’t realise you go and get a can of tuna from the supermarket, like the impact on the planet and the impact on humans is so colossal behind the scenes are just really urge people to find out more about what’s going on there. Because that was that was a huge thing for me as well, just to think about how horrible that must be for those poor people trapped on those vessels for years and years leave their family behind. And you know, if you get sick, or if you break an arm, in you’re of no use. They’re just chuck you overboard, because you’re not registered anywhere, you’re illegal. And the New York Times did an investigation into the number of humans just chucked overboard vessels. And there was absolutely staggering the estimation of people that have just been camped because they weren’t helpful. You know, I just think that that just blew blows my mind that that kind of stuff happens in this day and age people just don’t know about it.
Matt Waters 43:04
Yeah, yeah. I was listening to Joe Rogan, literally yesterday on the way back from Canberra. And one of the comments, or one of the parts of that discussion was about global slavery. And there’s like nine and a half million people estimated across the globe that are still slaves.
Kate Parker 43:20
Yeah. And I think that that, like you said, I think it’s about getting the information out there. But yeah, it’s about delivering in a way that will actually make people try and change what they’re doing, and not just go, oh, that’s crap, and then get on with their day. You know, that doesn’t affect me. So yeah, it
Matt Waters 43:36
doesn’t affect me. So I’ll just completely or, you know,
Kate Parker 43:38
I would like to buy my clothing from an ethical store, but it’s quite expensive. So I’m just gonna go to Kmart and buy some cheap crap and throw it in the bin in a week. You know, it’s always kind of things that in society, so we need to change. Yeah.
Matt Waters 43:50
Okay, I’m gonna take a quick run to the bathroom break. Sure. I’ll be back.
Producer of Scuba GOAT 43:57
Yeah, that’s crazy that slavery people trafficking stuff isn’t like this just seriously. So sad. I’ll think about it because you get to rest about the world and you end up doing nothing.
Kate Parker 44:07
And I think that’s the big issue as well. Yeah, you just get overwhelmed. You know, I think I’ve chosen it. My path has been ocean conservation. But there’s a big crossover between Sea Shepherd cruise and the sea watch cruise. I don’t know if you’ve heard about them, but they’re at work in the Mediterranean, rescuing immigrants coming over from Africa trying to get into Europe. And you know, I just think God, like how much compassion can you have? Like, I feel like I can’t even cope with the amount of trauma that I’m witnessing, doing my Sea Shepherd stuff to then deal with, you know, what’s happening in immigration, what’s happening and women’s rights, what’s happening in LGBTQI rights. It’s just so overwhelming. There’s so many things that we should be passionate about, and I think that’s the problem people just get, they just get asked or to, it’s all too much. So I’m not going to do anything. But you know, start with one thing
Producer of Scuba GOAT 44:56
or occasionally catch the train to Chatswood which is Got a big shopping centre to train stations down. And just a homeless people lined up along the Mall there yet enough to just break your heart interface? Yeah, it’s unconscionable. You can’t imagine how we’ve managed to
Kate Parker 45:13
how have we got to this point? It goes
Matt Waters 45:15
Producer of Scuba GOAT 45:16
if we were depressed before ever go into the
Matt Waters 45:22
well, you just been talking about I heard homeless people.
Producer of Scuba GOAT 45:25
Were just talking about just being overwhelmed by the number of things in the world there are to be brokenhearted about Yeah. From right outside your own front door to what Kate’s talking about with people travelling or just getting chucked overboard on the ship, because they no longer seem to have any value. Yeah, like really? When did that just become
Kate Parker 45:42
Yeah, exactly. How
Matt Waters 45:43
is the training allowed? Or? Well, it’s shut up.
Kate Parker 45:46
You know, the other thing they do that’s really terrifying is they have they have inspectors come on board to inspect the catch or whatever. And Greenpeace have got some incredibly scary footage of you see all this footage of them at nighttime, sort of bumbling around on the deck. And then they’ll sit on the side of the deck and they fall overboard. And they basically poison them. And then they’re just like, they’re just wigging out and they’re just completely disoriented. And they fall off the side of the ship. And then the ship will record it as like an accidental or there must have fallen overboard. But they’re like deliberately killing these inspectors so they can get away with catching whatever they want. Like it’s so dark, like, yeah, exactly that how do we get to this point where human life is just so so replaceable? It’s so heavy. Sorry, it’s not very
Producer of Scuba GOAT 46:33
marketable. Several federal Australian governments have been have been elected in the last two decades, on a policy of turn back the boats, and how people out in the UK are specialising in it. Now they’ve taken a leaf out of Australia, and there are votes in it. 1000s and 1000s of votes.
Kate Parker 46:53
I’m still scaring, what
Producer of Scuba GOAT 46:54
twenty years ago, when there was a massive, I think it was bigger might have been an earthquake in Afghanistan. And my boss at the time, people were saying we should be taking all these refugees, these people who have been affected? No, no, don’t let them in if you let them in. Don’t ever leave. Do you understand the human tragedy that’s unfolding? What’s actually happening to people? Yeah, people just separate themselves from that. It’s just a massive humanity over there. It’s not real. It’s just people. So they cut their pinky finger. And it’s a tragedy that we go to the emergency department of good, don’t get treated. trover straightaway, cannot just don’t have the empathy to understand that other human beings have the same feelings as the rest of us. It’s quite terrifying.
Matt Waters 47:34
Yeah. And I think it’s that, you know, you turn a blind eye and it’s ignorance, isn’t it?
Producer of Scuba GOAT 47:39
It partly is. But it’s also partly what Kate and I were just saying, there comes a point where you just can’t, you’ve got no more to give, you can’t affect it. I’m going to chat with your water, you see the homeless people, and you think this is amazing. It’s terrible. It’s awful. And then you realise there’s nothing you can do about it. Unless you change your entire life to vote. And even then, you know, because you know, people who’ve done that your impact will be minimal. And so you end up in this conundrum of well, us in the first world just by being alive, we make it awful for an awful lot of people. Yeah, just by being here. Yeah. By being able to go to calls and buy food. Yeah. To buy like you said, the tinned tuna. Yeah, but I hate this stuff. But not because I have any great moral thing. I don’t like tuna. If I did, I probably would not take it and all of the things that are involved, and I don’t know how you change it, change it.
Matt Waters 48:30
That’s it. And that’s the difficult bit is how do we change it? And it’s, I think it’s an impossible feat. And that’s why I’m leaning more towards the world is fucked. Quite frankly, it is fucked. But it’s, it’s, it’s how long have we got until it gets to that point where, you know, everyone walking around like it’s a scene of Halo or Star Wars when there’s no natural world left, and it’s just desert? Yeah, I think it’s somewhere in our future. It’s somewhere over the next couple of 100 years. We didn’t know and the first one that’s going to go is the aquatic world. Unfortunately, but
Producer of Scuba GOAT 49:08
you know, as well as I do, there are people in the world smart. I know people who are intelligent, because I’ve known him for a long time who genuinely believe that climate change is a hoax. issue. There are no problems humans do not cause any issues just by being alive. I think there is
Matt Waters 49:24
it’s just insanity. But again, I mean, I’m bringing it back around the politicians but I mean, they’re just to protect their own assets for the next four years and protect their jobs. And they’re told by in fact, is one for you, Kate. You guys keep I might actually keep you in this. In this episode. Robert, is one for the DPI Department of Primary Industries. They’re really starting to piss me off. They come out with all of this social media stuff about all the greatness that they’re doing. In. And so those people who don’t know that the guy that got attacked and killed in Sydney last month was was my bestie. Here in Australia, Simon Ellis bless him. No, and within 23 hours of that occurring, they’re putting in drumlines all up and down the coast. And those drum lines are still going in. I saw a post about it last week, and it was almost like a post of pride when putting drum lines in to deter that was the word I saw was to deter sharks. How the fuck does a big hook with a big slab of meat on it deter a shark? It is where humans are interacting in the water.
Kate Parker 50:44
It is absolutely wild. Like, excuse me, it is wild i that campaign. I mean, you must have talked about this a lot with John Oh, and he absolutely would be the fountain of all knowledge with that campaign. But I did I did go up and go out on Apex harmony with Olga on greatness as part of APEX harmony with John Oh, and I learned a bit about it there. And I knew I knew some of the backstory. But when I actually saw it with my eyes, it is unbelievable that anyone could imagine that a pissy little few few metres long net, or you know, that’s, you know, on a stretch of beach that’s hundreds of kilometres wide, is going to do anything to deter a shark and drum lines that are baited are only going to bring sharks in. And I knew that that was existing, and I thought it was wild anyway. But when I saw like actually how close those drum lines asked the shore, we drove along them. And you can see the kids playing. You can see everyone’s down at the beach having a great time. You can swim out to those drum lines. They’re not far off shore. And they’re baited and supposed to catch these like predatory sharks, which is the rhetoric that they seem to have that like there’s these evil sharks that are going around attacking humans, which is all bullshit. The whole thing is just so frustrating how Jonno hasn’t just lost his mind over it. I don’t know. Because yeah, that is one of the most weirdest situations that the government is spruiking. This idea that these these lions that are baited are somehow going to stop all sharks from coming in no. So going to attract sharks or is going to attract small animals that get caught on the hooks that then attract sharks. So then we’re just killing more animals. We’re bringing more sharks close to shore, more shark attacks are going to be happening, that pissy little net is not going to stop anything. In fact, I was hearing the other day, some statistics around most of the sharks caught are caught on the way out there actually swimming out to sea. They’ve already been in closer to shore, and they’re getting tangled on the way out is catching whales. You know, it is so insane. I just don’t know what the government’s rationale is for that. And also the public’s perception of how that could possibly do anything to protect them. I just Yes. Wow.
Matt Waters 52:49
Well, I call them out. I’ve done it several times. Now. I’ve called them out on their social media posts and said, Look, I do disagree with the shard notes. I disagree vehemently with the beta drumlines. And we can go down that road because it’s it you know, it’s controlled by fishermen. And you know, I had some fool trying comments on me the other day trying to try to tell me that it was it was correct. And all the sharks that are caught her take him back out to sea safely and released and they’re unharmed. And I Dude, you’re a fool. Don’t believe what you see on Facebook. I’ve not read it on Facebook. I’ve seen the report, clearly. All right. Have you seen the videos that we’ve got out there that sharks been dragged in reverse for over a kilometre the dead by the time anyway. And I call them out? And I say look, dudes, I might be against it. But I’d much prefer if you came on something like this, like the podcast and just had an open discussion. So I could try and understand where you guys are coming from. Because it happened back to Simon when when Simon passed. We went out on the police boat to the scene. And there was a new copper in charge that was on the boat. weather’s really nice fella. But this this topic of discussion came up briefly. And I shut him down because he’d been given the party line from the DPI that they’re doing the right thing when in fact, I don’t believe they are. And I think the thing that’s driving it is a the politicians protecting their ass for the next four years because they want the job still. And the money that comes with it. All the jobs that come with the shark nets and drum lines, all the fishermen that are getting paid to go out and do this stuff. The fact that they’re putting out smart drum, there’s no smart drum line. Yes, it might it might tickle like a, you know, an alarm when there’s something on there. But then you’ve got to rely on the individual to get out of his bed to get on a boat to go and deal with the situation. And as we know, from discussions with Johnny, he doesn’t know if someone doesn’t want to go out on In the water to release a shark, they don’t do it now.
Kate Parker 55:02
Absolutely. And you’re right like that the amount of money that’s been made these fishermen, I don’t know if there’s a documentary called, that was one of the apex ones I can’t remember off the top of my head. But shark call envoy will talk about it, you know, they’re getting 1000s and 1000s of dollars to go and do this, it is a legal call. And you’re absolutely right, I saw it with my own eyes, we were checking, we went around the corner and saw the drum lines, and there was the government official boat, whatever, fishermen, and they pulled on a tiger shark, pulled it onboard the vessel. And we followed them and we were going to document they take them out far out to the deeper ocean or whatever released. And John, I was speeding along, trying to catch up with them and follow them. And I was getting ready with my freedive fins and a camera and I was gonna jump in the water and try and document it. And they they literally, they whipped that boat around so fast open side door, dumped the shark, and it sank before I could even get in the water. And Gianna explained, you know that they often will just kind of disassembled them on the way out there so that they just will get in the water and sink. And then all that evidence is destroyed. So so it’s all hidden. And and going back to what you’re saying there about those reports, you know, yeah, sure. There are reports out there. But it’s like this happens across everything. This is what’s happened with all of the COVID pandemic, you know, who’s writing these reports. It’s like, there was a report that came out that said, the eggs are healthy, but it was commissioned by McDonald’s or whatever. Like, if someone’s writing a report saying that all these things are like good practice, chances are it’s been commissioned by the people who were invested in making sure you believe that it’s good practice. So, you know, yeah, that those reports might exist. The Japanese brought out a report saying that all of this killing of the whales they did in Antarctica was scientific research. And the report stated that whales like to eat krill? Well, we know that from looking at whales, we don’t need report, you don’t need to cut them all open and say that, like there’s so much bullshit reports out there. Just because it’s a scientific report doesn’t mean that it’s a valid reason to do something. So yeah, I think that’s a problem as well that people hang on to that, like, Oh, I’ve got this evidence, I’ve got this piece of knowledge. I’ve got this scientific base evidence report, but it’s it’s bullshit report anyway, that was put out just to, to make you believe that what you’re doing, which you probably do don’t know, as you know, is wrong, is okay.
Matt Waters 57:15
Well, it’s a form of propaganda, isn’t it, because what I did notice with the DPI is that, you know, like on Facebook, you can put the X symbol and then tag someone in a post, you can’t tag the DPI in a comment. So clearly, they don’t need to read the comments that they probably don’t bother. But they’re all about tagging sharks, but you can’t tag them to have an open and frank discussion or invite them on something like this show to, you know, put the point across so that we get both sides of the story. Because at the moment, the only story we’ve got is from the activists and the people that are looking in. So why not come on the show like this and present your findings to normal people, not politicians. And we can have a balanced debate about what’s going on and try and make sense of it. If at the moment, I don’t see any sense in it whatsoever. It’s ludicrous,
Kate Parker 58:07
especially when there’s so Okay, so there’s so many other sharp mitigation devices that are non lethal out there. There’s so much research and work going into that but also you know, as a as an ocean lover, you have to understand that you are going into that that animals home like you know that and I think often the surf community they’re really great advocates for sharks and even when their fellow surfers have been bitten and God forbid you know in a fatal attack the first ones to stand up and say we understand the risks that we’re taking when we go into the ocean so we do everything we can to mitigate that risk but we’re not going to just go out there and like randomly call things you know it’s like people have such a massive hoo ha when when people are killing rhinoceros and things in the savannas in Africa but somehow killing sharks just I don’t know that there’s something in the in the psyche of the public. And I I do run into this a lot with my friends you know, even friends here in Melbourne who are too afraid to get into the water at St Kilda Marina because they’re scared of sharks. It’s like how have you got this like image in your mind that they’re all these blood thirsty, murderous, like human hating killers. I know JAWS has got a lot to answer for in that way but it’s I don’t know the whole the whole sharp thing It blows my mind because anyone who actually understands sharks and dives with sharks and and gets how beautiful they are how curious they are and and of course yet they can’t they can be dangerous but lots of ocean lovers understand the risks in being around those kinds of sharks and accept them and and also how punitive and pointless it is just trying to call sharks like as if that’s gonna work. Because like, I don’t know starting in a garden and killing babies because you think you’re gonna kill a whole lot of businesses that have no it just it’s just ludicrous. It doesn’t make any sense at all.
Matt Waters 59:47
went on a little rant rage is good. But on a serious note DPI if anyone from the DPI is listening, just get in touch come on the show. Let’s have a debate about it. Absolutely not gonna bite your head off. Yeah. Now let’s let’s change the subject a little bit like, tell me about this. This this organisation of yours the daughters of a deep, it’s a charity or foundation.
Kate Parker 1:00:11
Charity. Yeah, we have, we’re very much in our infancy. But we’ve managed to achieve quite a lot in our first year we launched on World Oceans Day last year. So, yeah, pretty chuffed with what we’ve managed to achieve. So our original goal was around funding women who might not have the economical or cultural societal support to get into diving. And so we were thinking about just kind of paying for the paddy certificates and helping women get into that diving workforce that could maybe go into conservation, diving and things like that. That was sort of our starting point. But it’s evolved into looking at gender inequality across all marine industries and across all parts of the world as well. So whilst we were sort of originally targeting places like Nicaragua, and Thailand and Indonesia, and Madagascar as supporting women to get into a marine industry financially, there are discrepancies and things like the number of women that are overlooked to get research grants into scientific Marine Base research, or even just the kind of societal impact implications of having a female captain on a boat, or a female commercial diver. All of those things, you know, this, this exists across all industries, but trying to kind of highlight women in those industries to promote it as as more accessible for women and to try and address that imbalance, but also fundraising to support women around the world who aren’t able to access those industries themselves. So we have various projects on the go. Our first one was in Madagascar. And with donations that we got through through very kinda daters and also selling our merchandise. We managed to fund a girl in Madagascar to go to high school, and she wants to become a marine biologist. And she’s now partnered with a dive school that we’re partnered with, and they’ve given her internship and they’re teaching her how to dive. And in that part of the world, I didn’t know this until we launched this charity, but young women who don’t have the financial resources to go to school, are often married off quite young, often to foreigners, as a way of bringing in money to the family. So by supporting her to go to school, we, you know, took her away from that situation in which he probably would have just ended up being married off quite young. So we started that project, we’ve now funded a second woman over there. And now we’re looking at we’ve got internships happening in Thailand, where we’re sponsoring local Thai women to become dive instructors. And we’ve got various other projects that we’re looking to launch over the next year. So it’s been amazing. We’re registered in Europe and in the Americas, and over here in Australia, and we’ve had a really positive support and just in friends buying our merchandise and things like that, and I’m just super excited to see where we’re going to where we’re going to go like one day, it’d be cool if we had doors with the deep dive schools where we could, you know, take the local community women in and and teach them to dive but so we’re mostly at that sort of fundraising and awareness stage. And then partnering with organisations on the ground, we’re just about to launch some work in Melanesia, as well. So you can check out our social media for that one, because I don’t think it’s launched just yet. But yeah, it’s just been a really interesting process of did a lot of interviewing with women working in those industries as well. And that was really eye opening, and often quite sad hearing some of the stories around, you know, sexism, sexism that occurs for women in those industries to this day. So yeah, we’re sort of like advocating and showcasing women in those industries, just to try and you know, make it more more of a balanced workforce, I suppose. Yeah.
Matt Waters 1:03:50
You should maybe have a chat with Andy Lewis foundation. Oh, yeah. Because he’s, he founded the see woman of Melanesia. Yeah. And that one does really well. And it’s, it’s much it’s very much in line with what you’re talking about there. Because the ladies up there in Papua New Guinea, under his watch, are out doing all the coral research and it’s fantastic. He’s he’s had several awards for it. Yeah.
Kate Parker 1:04:15
Amazing. Yeah, we’ll keep an eye on our social media.
Matt Waters 1:04:21
So what’s what’s next for you? I know that you’re shipping out soon. Yeah.
Kate Parker 1:04:24
Yeah, correct. Next week, I’m back over to Mexico to join the ship. Which I’m very excited about be out there for three months, and it’d be my first time in the bridge. So I’ve always traditionally been in the deck team. So first time as an officer, so then let me drive the boat. So very, very excited slash terrified out of it. Yeah. Yeah, I know. Crazy. So yeah, super excited to do that. So I’ll be out in Mexico for the next few months. And then yeah, come back and get on with my speech pathology work for the rest of the year and come back and continue doing my postcard work and hopefully Get some more dollars, the deep programmes off the ground.
Matt Waters 1:05:02
Yeah. So how does that just go back to the boat there? How does the hierarchy work on the boat?
Kate Parker 1:05:07
So well, we just have different departments. And then we have some department heads. So I was in the deck deck department. And then the head of the deck is the boson. And then we have the bridge department had been the captain. And we have the engineering team that had been the chief. So I did, I think five or six campaigns in the deck team. And then last year, I went in as boson. And then this, I’m going in to the bridge team. So I’m just a second mate, then as a first mate, and then as the captain. So I don’t know, like we’re all sort of have our own, obviously the captain’s right at the top there, and the chief and the boson and then we all sit underneath our differences. We also have a media team and a chef as well. So like as you would know, on boats, it is a hierarchical structure. And it’s Captain’s orders, obviously, are always what we follow. But obviously, we’re also an organisation and we you know, we can have internal conversations around what we’re doing. But yeah, it is it is Captain’s orders, which we will follow in terms of what we’re actually doing day to day on the boat. Yeah.
Matt Waters 1:06:06
As a restructure to each day, or is it very much flexible, depending on kind of information that’s coming in?
Kate Parker 1:06:11
Yeah, absolutely. So each day is different. And each campaign is different. So for example, in Antarctica, you know, it was, I think, a month and a half, maybe two months of just searching for the whaling fleet. Very, very frustrating, we launched our helicopter, at least twice a day. And every time the captain of the helicopter came and landed, you know, we’d look at his face and know that you hadn’t found them. And we’d all be disappointed, then eventually, we found them. And then we chased them and etc. So that that’s sort of how that campaign is. And I should imagine that African ones as well as a lot of patrol and patrolling, patrolling, and then boom, you find the ship. And then it’s all systems go. The one in Mexico is probably daily, seeing the poachers putting their nets in the water, recording where their nets are, and then hauling them out of water. So each day is a combination of kind of patrolling and noting down and retrieving nets and dealing with whatever’s come in on the nets. And yeah, it can be totally different, like the deck team have very much that structure, sort of nine to five type structure. Whereas the bridge and the engineering team are four hours on eight hours off 24 hours a day, because they are constantly have to check the engines and constantly have to be on watching the bridge. So yeah, it totally depends what you’re doing and what the at what stage the campaign is. Obviously, transit is very different again, because we’re just going somewhere, but yeah, so it can be it can be varied. Suddenly, it’s always busy, and we don’t get days off. So it’s, it’s it’s never a dull moment, for sure.
Matt Waters 1:07:38
Sounds good? Well, I think well, we’ll wrap it up there, Kate, and let you get on with packing for. It’s a is there any particular way that people can follow the activities that you’re going to be involved with?
Kate Parker 1:07:51
Yeah, absolutely. So you can jump on our Sea Shepherd Conservation Society pages to follow that campaign for the logro. You can jump on Daughters of the deep.org to follow what we’re doing there. Or you can see some of the work through the Coast Guard on AV CGA of the Australian volunteer Coast Guard Association pages. Yeah, follow along, see what we’re getting up to there. When posting out on our social media accounts. They’re
Matt Waters 1:08:18
awesome sauce. When you get back, give me a shout. And then you can come back on online and give us an update of all the fun stuff that you saw. And
Kate Parker 1:08:25
you’ve got to come down for a dive
Matt Waters 1:08:28
on though right? After wait until you get back. In fact, buddy, hell, it’s gonna be winter when you get maybe maybe in the spring, or spring.
Kate Parker 1:08:34
That sounds better. Yeah. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about all these things as well. It’s always nice to be able to share the work that we’re doing. So I’m super grateful. Thank you so much for inviting me on.
Matt Waters 1:08:47
It’s been an absolute pleasure. And like I say you’re more than welcome to come on again. I look forward to hearing all the good stuff that you’ve done over there. Thank you. No worries. Thanks for tuning in everybody. Bye bye for now.