Drum­lines and nets catch 200 preda­tors since July

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS -

Al­most 200 sharks have been caught across the state since July at a rate of more than 10 a week.

Townsville to the north and Mackay to the south are the near­est lo­ca­tions to the Whitsundays with shark con­trol pro­vi­sions in place.

Since July, 56 sharks have been caught in those lo­ca­tions, with all but one more than 2m long.

Sig­nif­i­cantly, only two non­tar­geted marine an­i­mals have been caught in the re­gions in the same pe­riod, de­spite fears the mea­sures would kill large num­bers of harm­less species.

Townsville shares the un­en­vi­able ti­tle of the state’s high­est con­cen­tra­tion of shark catches with the Sunshine Coast, with both record­ing 35 since the start of July.

Fish­eries Min­is­ter Mark Furner said the sta­tis­tics con­firmed the shark con­trol pro­gram was work­ing to pro­tect Queens­lan­ders in re­gions where nets and drum­lines have been in­stalled.

“The shark con­trol pro­gram con­tin­ues to con­trib­ute to safer beaches in the ar­eas where it op­er­ates,” he said.

“Drum­lines and shark nets play an im­por­tant role in th­ese ar­eas, as do pa­trolled beaches.

“There will al­ways be risks as­so­ci­ated with swim­ming in the ocean, but the com­bi­na­tion of shark-con­trol mea­sures and pa­trolled beaches is our best chance of mit­i­gat­ing those risks.

“Swim­mers need to re­main alert to swim­ming con­di­tions, in­clud­ing the in­creased risk posed by swim­ming in har­bours or canals.”

He said warn­ings re­mained in place against swim­ming at

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