Survey finds 80% Ballina/Byron residents oppose shark cull

MORE than 80% of 500 Ballina, Lennox Head and Byron Bay residents who participated in a research poll are opposed to shark culls as a solution to attacks.

University of Sydney's Dr Christopher Neff, who led the research, said most locals wanted the government to educate people about shark encounters.

He said they also wanted the government to invest in non-lethal technology and back more research into human and shark encounters.

The study of the Ballina state electorate was conducted between September 21 and 25, with a margin of error of 4.5%.

More than half of the participants said shark bites were accidental, 21% believed they were intentional and one-quarter were undecided.

"For three years I have looked across Australia for public sentiment to match the political dialogue that supports lethal nets, culls, hunts, and drum lines but the reality is that these options are now out of touch with the public," Dr Neff said.

Northern Star readers have already expressed their opposition to shark culling, with only one quarter of people who responded to the newspaper's online poll in August backing the mitigation measure.

About 57% of people who participated in another online poll earlier this month felt shark nets should be used to protect Northern Rivers' beaches.

The research findings were released on Monday, one day before the NSW 2015 Scientific Shark Summit kicks off.

More than 70 delegates from across the world, including South Africa and Hawaii, will share their expertise about shark attack mitigation measures.

The summit will also examine the results of the recently completed independent review into shark deterrent technologies.

- APN NEWSDESK



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