OPINION: Talk about sharks set to ramp up with summit

THERE'S a lot happening in the next few days dealing with the whole shark issue.

In many respects today's shark summit in Sydney, featuring shark experts from around the world, was prompted by the recent attacks here on the North Coast.

It's being held at Sydney's famous Taronga zoo and should greatly enhance the pool of knowledge that is out there on this subject.

What is sure to be discussed is the Ballina shark tagging and tracking program which has made some interesting discoveries.

It has found, among other things, that the sharks that were off Ballina are highly migratory covering hundreds of kilometres off the east coast of Australia in the space of a week.

A University of Sydney survey of residents in Byron Bay, Lennox Head and Ballina has also found that 80% of people are opposed to culling sharks in the wake of the attacks on Mat Lee, Tadashi Nakahara and Craig Ison, among others.

That is in line with other online polls The Northern Star has conducted.

Only 10% of respondents were in favour of shark nets and many more preferred non-lethal deterrents.

It also appears the shark attacks have only had a minimal impact on businesses in Ballina.

A survey by the local business chamber has found less than 15% indicated they had experienced a downturn due to shark activity.

All of these respondents were in tourism-related businesses.

This is welcome news ahead of the busy summer season where tourists are again set to flock to this region.

All councils have stepped up their aerial patrols in the wake of recent shark attacks and sightings.



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