Fixed shark-proof enclosure advocated
SUBJECT to a recommendation by the Environmental Protection Authority and approval of the Federal Environment Minister, the State Government proposes to continue the shark kill policy for a further three years with up to 72 baited drum lines off Perth beaches and south-west surfing spots over the summers.
While these drum lines will catch many sharks under three metres in length, there is no guarantee that they will prevent a “shark attack”.
Over the past 12 months, I have been communicating with the Fisheries Department and recommended that a fixed shark- proof enclosure, of similar design to the successful one built at the original Fremantle South Beach in the late 1920 and early 1930s (and used for more than 30 years), be located at a suitable site in the Fremantle area.
Beaches to the north of the port city are more subject to winter storms than those to the south.
I recommended that Bathers Beach as a suitable location for an enclosure, with it extending from the South Mole to Challenger Harbour’s north breakwater.
This location is less prone to sea damage from the north-north west and is protected to some extent by offshore reef systems. It is not subject to swell and wave action to the same degree as beaches to the north. Therefore, it could be used safely all year.
Together with the adjacent ferris wheel and restaurants, this site could be made into an “amusement area” with a merry-go-round and other show- type attractions, as existed at the original South Beach area many years ago.
I have made similar recommendations to the City of Fremantle.