Aus­tralia in­creases shark tag­ging af­ter teen maul­ing

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE tag­ging and re­lo­ca­tion of sharks off Aus­tralia’s most pop­u­lous state will be sharply in­creased to pro­tect surfers ahead of a busy sum­mer sea­son, author­i­ties said yes­ter­day, af­ter a teenager was mauled in a re­cent at­tack.

The New South Wales gov­ern­ment has come un­der pres­sure to act af­ter a 17-year-old boy was bit­ten on the leg while surf­ing off the east coast on Septem­ber 26.

The scene of the at­tack – Bal­lina’s Light­house Beach about 750 kilo­me­tres (466 miles) north of Syd­ney – is in a re­gion that has be­come known as a shark hotspot af­ter a spate of en­coun­ters over the past year.

But tri­als to pro­tect lo­cal surfers with eco-bar­ri­ers were re­cently scrapped due to rough con­di­tions, with the gov­ern­ment turn­ing to “smart drum­lines” where sharks are caught and tagged be­fore be­ing re­lo­cated fur­ther out to sea.

“Test­ing shows smart drum­lines are highly ef­fec­tive in catch­ing sharks so they can be tagged and re­lo­cated, so we will in­crease the num­ber de­ployed off NSW from 15 to 100,” NSW Pri­mary In­dus­tries Min­is­ter Niall Blair said.

The so-called smart drum­lines are meant to be more friendly to other ma­rine life and are not de­signed to kill sharks. They alert of­fi­cials when crea­tures are cap­tured so they can be freed if con­di­tions per­mit. –

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