Australian protection from sharks to be trialled

September 30, 2015 6:11 pm


have been 13 shark attacks in NSW so far this year, up from three last
year, and one surfer has been killed. Photo / Getty Images

Australian beachgoers should not expect new shark protection
measures to be in place this summer, but New South Wales Primary
Industries Minister Niall Blair says he hopes to have trials under way.
from , South Africa and the US gathered in Sydney yesterday
for what has been touted as the nation’s first shark summit.
Scientists are comparing notes on technologies that can best protect swimmers and surfers from attack.
There have been 13 shark attacks in NSW so far this year, up from three last year, and one surfer has been killed.
Government has already responded to a spate of high-profile attacks on
the NSW north coast with a A$250,000 ($275,000) shark-tagging programme
and an independent review of detection and deterrence technologies.
“We’re looking at all of the options,” Blair said.

“As a result of today we will have technologies that we
will be able to advance through testing this summer – within our own
controlled environments or on the coast.”
But he has ruled out any wholesale cull of great white sharks, which are protected under NSW law.
DPI’s top shark biologist Dr Vic Peddemors told reporters he believed
beachgoers wanted a more environmentally friendly approach than
old-fashioned nets.
“We feel that they have been effective but they do have obvious by-catch issues,” Peddemors said.
“That is what we are trying to overcome – where we can protect people with minimal impact on the environment.”
has also vowed not to simply “placate” beachgoers, saying any
technologies introduced would have to stand up to tough NSW coastal
Research from the University of Sydney found more
than 80 per cent of residents living in Ballina and Byron Bay wanted
non-lethal technologies.

NSW beaches with shark nets

• 51 beaches in NSW are protected by shark nets.
• The Shark Meshing Programme was introduced in 1937.
• Only one fatal shark attack has occurred on a netted beach since the SMP started.
• Nets cover only part of a beach and are designed to deter sharks from creating territories.

shared on