Ballina Shire councillor Phillip Meehan has called for a suite of shark mitigation methods, excluding shark nets, to be continued on the North Coast.
Ballina Shire councillor Phillip Meehan has called for a suite of shark mitigation methods, excluding shark nets, to be continued on the North Coast. Contributed

Should we have more drumlines instead of shark nets?

SHARK mitigation methods will be discussed by Ballina Shire councillors at today's meeting.

Councillor Phillip Meehan earlier lodged a Notice of Motion calling for the council to endorse the Shark Management Strategy, excluding shark nets.

But the State Government has since announced it will not reinstall the nets on the Far North Coast this summer.

Cr Meehan said he would still urge them to support the strategy's other components and he wants the State Government to consider increasing the number of SMART drumlines on the coast "to replace any positive safety benefit that the Shark Meshing Program may have been providing to ocean users".

"It's interesting some of the data that came out of the trial," Cr Meehan said.

"The smart drum lines have been far more effective.

"They don't have the by-catch and that's quite important to sections of the community."

Cr Meehan said he supported the government's decision not to use shark nets this year.

"I think it's the appropriate thing to do," he said.

Along with SMART drumlines, Cr Meehan has called for the council to support the continued use of shark tagging, listening stations, sonar technology, the Shark SMART app, aerial surveillance and partnerships with Surf Lifesaving NSW.

Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair announced they would not reinstate the nets during a visit to the North Coast last week.

The announcement came as a community survey revealed most residents did not want to see the nets used.

Swimmers are so far expected to be protected by up to 35 SMART drumlines, along with surveillance from drones and aircraft.

This will be in place at Seven Mile Beach at Lennox Head, Sharpes, Shelly and Lighthouse beaches at Ballina and Evans Head's Main Beach.



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