Shark mesh nets are to be installed at Ballina Shire beaches in November.
Shark mesh nets are to be installed at Ballina Shire beaches in November. Graham Broadhead

Shark nets are coming back, but we like them less than ever

SHARK nets will be deployed again along North Coast beaches in November, it was announced last week but community responses show less people favouring the net method than before.

Following the effectiveness of the nets, DPI released results from a survey which measured community responses to the initial net trial which was conducted between 8 December 2016 and 30 May 2017.

On average, 46% of Ballina Shire and Evans Head residents were positive before the trial, dropping to 33% after the trial.

Of people surveyed living outside Ballina/Evans Head 17% were positive before the trial, and 8% were positive following the trial.

Community consultation and engagement was undertaken before and at the end of the trial using surveys, drop-in stands, visits to businesses, and formal meetings.

Data gathered by DPI during the trial showed nine target sharks were caught in the nets (three White Sharks, three Tiger Sharks, three Bull Sharks) from a total of 275 animals (3% of the total catch).

The remaining 266 animals caught comprised at least 18 species, including 16 sharks from 3 species/groups (Common Blacktip Shark, Spinner Shark and unidentified Whaler sharks).

69% of respondents highlighted Lighthouse Beach as an area of greatest concern regarding shark bites.

Reduced or no shark-human interactions were also nominated as a key measure of success of the trial by Ballina/Evans Head residents (69% phone respondents, 62% online respondents).



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