Drumlines not on the agenda
P E RMANENT d r u ml i n e s would not be permitted in the Whitsundays to prevent shark attacks, the State Government says.
A crisis summit held yesterday in response to three attacks at Cid Harbour since September resulted in a fivepoint plan, but despite calls for drumlines by charter boat companies, Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the measures wouldn’t fly.
“They were told quite clearly from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority that it would not approve the use of drumlines or shark nets in this region,” she said yesterday.
Melbourne doctor Daniel Christidis died on Monday off Whitsunday Island, following two attacks in September on Tasmanian woman Justine Barwick, who has had to learn to walk again, and 12- year- old Hannah Papps, who lost a leg.
Shark nets or drumlines are already used in 86 locations along the Queensland coast. > Give $ 250,000 towards scientific research into shark prevalence and behaviour in Cid Harbour > Maintain Cid Harbour as a no- swim zone until that research is complete > It has already started an education campaign to educate locals and visitors about shark safety > Develop a broader SharkWISE education campaign, similar to the CrocWISE campaign in North Queensland. > Continue to meet with industry stakeholders and experts to develop and progress responses
Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said those were based closer to the shore at lifesaver- patrolled locations.
“Cid Harbour is a fair distance from the mainland and that’s one of the reasons why it wouldn’t work,” he said.
Drumlines in Cid Harbour after the first two attacks were only approved on a temporary basis, he said. Those lines trapped six sharks in a week.
Bond University head of graduate research Dr Daryl McPhee said there was no scientific evidence that drumlines “unequivocally work”.
The five- point plan released after yesterday’s talks includes a ban on swimming in Cid Harbour, which will remain in force until research is completed into shark behaviour in the area.
The State Government has allocated $ 250,000 to the research and Ms Jones called on her federal colleagues to match it. Stakeholders at yesterday’s meeting will gather again later this year to examine progress.
Meanwhile the medical team that treated the shark attack victims have spoken out about the challenges they faced.
Anaesthetist Dr Marcelo Kanczuk said he had been plagued by bad dreams about the razor- toothed ocean predators.
“A few of us had night- mares of being attacked by a shark,” he said. “We had some distress. That’s the reason why we do a debriefing, so we could say what everyone felt and if we needed extra support. It was a very stressful situation.”
Dr Kanczuk did not want to say which of the three shark attack victims he worked on in order to preserve the patient’s privacy.
Dr Kanczuk has worked in 10 hospitals all over the world and said the treatment all three patients received at Mackay Base Hospital was second to none.
Hospital intensive care unit head Dr Stuart Baker said the ICU team was tasked with monitoring blood loss.
“Losing a lot of blood predisposes people to being very sick and having a prolonged stay in hospital, so if we can minimise the amount of blood lost we can help keep them alive and keep them alive in a better state that they would otherwise be.”
He said one of the most challenging aspects of dealing with a complex trauma case was managing the patients’ families.