Shark nets removed and helicopter cancelled
THE Department of Primary Industries was today forced to cancel helicopter shark surveys between Ballina and Tweed and lift the shark nets along the North Coast due to weather conditions.
A spokesman said the DPI's alert to residents about the removal of shark mitigation measures on social media 8am on Sunday was due to the large swells expected along the region's coastline.
"Marine weather conditions forecasted by the Bureau of Meteorology for Evans Head and Ballina have resulted in the DPI and the mesh net contractors making the decision to remove the nets from the water," the spokesman said.
"The Evans Head net was retrieved on Saturday and the Ballina nets were retrieved Sunday afternoon.
"DPI will monitor marine weather conditions and Bureau of Meteorology forecasts. The nets will be redeployed once it is safe to do so.
"The helicopter undertaking aerial surveillance was operational on Saturday, but weather conditions prevented the Sunday flight.
"The NSW Government is conscious that no single or combination of open water programs can ever totally eliminate shark interactions with the community.
"At all times DPI recommends, beachgoers are SharkSmart. For information how to minimise the risk of being in waters where sharks may be present download the SharkSmart App."