SHARK NETS LUNACY
NSW PULLS THEM OUT
SHARK nets will be removed from northern NSW beaches just as the ocean predators begin to cruise into “town”, scientists and fishermen say.
The Department of Primary Industries said it would not extend a six-month trial of the nets at five beaches. The trial ends June 13.
The nets were put in after a spate of shark attacks over two-and-a-half years.
“The data from the trial will now be analysed by DPI shark scientists to assess the effectiveness of the nets,” DPI Minister Niall Blair said.
“We will also continue to consult with the local community to gauge their views on the outcomes of the trial.”
Outspoken shark net advocate, Lennox-Ballina boardrider president Don Munro, said another incident would devastate businesses still recovering from the fallout of previous attacks.
“I’m trying to stay optimistic, but when someone takes them out it’s hard to put them back in place,” Mr Munro said.
“My biggest fear is the economic situation if another attack occurs.”
Six target sharks were caught – two white, one bull, three tiger sharks – in the nets in the recent trial. Of the 244 non-target animals caught in the nets, 117 were released alive.
Bond University’s Daryl McPhee said sharks moved north during autumn and winter months, but stressed they did not migrate.
Nets will be replaced with additional drone surveillance and drum lines despite Surfing Australia chief executive Andrew Stark telling a recent Senate inquiry into shark attacks that aerial surveillance was essentially useless.