State pledges $250k for shark re­search

Daily Mercury - - NEWS -

THE STATE gov­ern­ment to­day pledged $250,000 as part of a five-point plan to im­prove wa­ter safety in the Whit­sun­days.

The plan is headed by sci­en­tific re­search into shark preva­lence and be­hav­iour at Cid Har­bour, then un­der­pinned by:

■ Main­tain­ing Cid Har­bour as a no-swim zone un­til that assess­ment is com­plete;

■ A high-pro­file ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign to im­me­di­ately ed­u­cate lo­cals and vis­i­tors about shark safety;

■ Devel­op­ment of a broader shark­wise ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign, sim­i­lar to the suc­cess­ful croc­wise cam­paign run­ning in North Queens­land;

■ And to con­tinue to meet with in­dus­try stake­hold­ers and ex­perts to de­velop and progress re­sponses.

The plan was de­vel­oped dur­ing a round­table dis­cus­sion held at Abell Point Ma­rina in re­sponse to the Cid Har­bour shark at­tacks.

Mel­bourne doc­tor Dan Chris­tidis died af­ter be­ing mauled on Mon­day, seven weeks fol­low­ing the at­tacks on Tas­ma­nian woman Jus­tine Bar­wick and Mel­bourne school­girl Han­nah Papps.

Queens­land Tourism Min­is­ter Kate Jones and Fish­eries Min­is­ter Mark Furner joined Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil, lo­cal tourism lead­ers and op­er­a­tors, shark ex­perts and sci­en­tists at the meet­ing, which went for about two hours.

Ms Jones con­firmed that drum­lines would not be used in the Whit­sun­days.

“They (GBRMPA) clearly said they would not ap­prove the use of shark nets or drum lines, work­ing within the leg­isla­tive frame­work here in Queens­land,” she said.

“They want sci­en­tific re­search done in Cid Har­bour.”

Mr Furner said there were 86 com­bined drum­lines and nets in Queens­land wa­ters, but they would not work at Cid Har­bour in the long-term due to its lo­ca­tion.

Photo: Ge­or­gia Simp­son

Min­is­ter Kate Jones at­tended the round­table.

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