Five-point plan for safety, but no to drumlines
PERMANENT drum lines would not be permitted in the Whitsundays to prevent shark attacks, the 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, State 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 drum lines 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.
Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said those were based closer to the shore at life saver-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 roundtable will meet again later this year to examine progress.