A safe and shark-free swimming environment without unnecessary harm to marine life.
A safe and shark-free swimming environment without unnecessary harm to marine life. Contributed

Econet to save Ballina in March

INVENTOR Craig Moss has revealed his shark protection solution, Eco Shark Barrier, will be trialled in Ballina from late March.

The marine-safe invention will run all the way from the North Wall to Lighthouse Point. Having only been tested in the calm waters of Perth's Coogee Beach , even Mr Moss questioned its effectiveness in Ballina surf.

Mr Moss said initially the Eco Shark Barrier was to be 850m long, but after further stakeholder consultation, it was decided the barrier should be extended 50 to ensure safety of nippers and swimmers. The Ballina barrier is more than twice as long as the Coogee Beach barrier.

"There have been a few delays. Initially it was scheduled for early March. There were delays obtaining materials over the Christmas period," he said.

Mr Moss' invention was in the national spotlight on Monday night, during ABC's Four Corners program 'Shark Alarm'.

The investigative program questioned the Eco Shark Barrier's effectiveness in Ballina surf, where the barrier will have to survive four metre swells and driftwood the size of trees.

Mr Moss said, "Yes. It is uncertain. It is an untested product on a surf beach, but you have to put it out there to test it. But I put my house on the line for it and I believe it will do everything it is supposed to do," he said.

Mr Moss said there was a chance his invention may attract criticism from some local surfers. "There's a chance that sometimes, when the waves are cranking, the barrier may cut into surf, but 90% of the time, the break is inside the barrier."

Mr Moss said he feared inferior copies of his invention could be made, putting marine life at risk.



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