Shark nets back in wa­ter soon

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO NEWS - Dave Sa­vides

SEA con­di­tions per­mit­ting, the shark nets will be back in place at Alka­ntstrand by the end of this week, re-open­ing the beach to bathers.

Swim­ming at the city’s main beach was banned when the nets were lifted fol­low­ing the tragic drown­ing of three KZN Sharks Board mem­bers at Ne­wark Beach on 8 Au­gust.

On­go­ing staff strike ac­tion and a mora­to­rium on hir­ing of new staff de­layed the re­turn of the nets.

Sharks Board spokesper­son Mike An­der­son-Reade said on Tues­day they were ready to re­de­ploy the nets, but de­layed do­ing so ow­ing to ad­verse weather fore­casts.

‘Af­ter as­sist­ing our boat skip­per to com­plete his li­cence, we were hop­ing to get Alka­ntstrand open to­day, but it is un­likely be­cause of the big cold front due later this af­ter­noon, which will in­crease the swell and may dis­lodge the gear as it would not have had time to set­tle.

‘It looks like the next op­por­tu­nity for a de­cent day is Fri­day.

‘We will how­ever, con­tinue to mon­i­tor the weather and sea and ad­just ac­cord­ingly.’

Not so thrilled at the re­turn of the shark nets to the wa­ter are con­ser­va­tion­ists who mon­i­tor the lo­cal pres­ence of en­dan­gered Hump­back dol­phins, which from time to time are snared in the nets along with other by-catch such as rays and tur­tles.

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