'UNDER SIEGE': Shark threat is unprecedented, says group
A "PEACEFUL community gathering" in support of shark nets for the North Coast will be held at Ballina's Missingham Park from 11.30am tomorrow (Saturday).
The event has been organised by the Community for Ocean Safety group.
In a statement, the group said it was time to "face this issue as a united community" for residents to ask leaders to "take action before another human is seriously injured or killed from a shark attack".
"The residents of the Northern NSW coastal communities are in need of being protected from predatory attacks in the ocean and deserve their concerns to be heard by all sides of politics," the group stated.
"At a state, local and federal level, the people elected to positions of authority to protect and serve the community need to see the majority of our community want a solution to stop the attacks on our shores with minimal impact to marine life."
The group says tomorrow's rally is for people who are "passionate about the ocean and conservation, but equally concerned about taking steps to make it safe again to live both in water and on land".
"We are encouraging the majority of our community to show support by physically being present on the day to ensure that the minority groups on both sides of this debate don't sway the argument away from what we are suggesting should be a balanced approach to both human safety and marine conservation.
"We would ask that all residents and supporters of the community for ocean safety set an example of tolerance to the views of others on the day without the need to verbally or physically interact with other activist groups who have different views to those of us who want to support measures to protect our community from an increased threat from ocean predators.
"This is a coastal community under siege from an unprecedented threat to life and limb in the ocean in the form of sharks that have been aggressively increasing their number of interactions on our coastline which has resulted in multiple fatalities and injuries to members of our communities.
"It is now time for action to reduce or eliminate future attacks on our beaches."