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Think Tank: Shark Nets for Byron Bay?

By Denise Milner

With summer well and truly here many of us can’t wait to enjoy the world class beaches that we are blessed with in Byron Bay. But with the latest media hysteria around sharks and the tragic attack at Main Beach this year, has raised to debate of the suitability of shark nets for Byron Bay.

Last Wednesday morning a 2.5 meter great white shark was pulled dead from nets at Bondi Beach in Sydney. The shake was found during routine inspections by specialist contractors who carry out operations as part of the NSW shark meshing program said a spokesperson for the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

This discovery bares similarities to the size of the shark that was rumoured to be involved in the fatal attack earlier this year in Byron Bay. However shark researcher Daryl McPhee said it is debatable if shark nets were useful.

“Shark nets may placate a certain section of the public, but they may not do a lot to mitigate the risk”, he said.

“We have seen the immense amount of public protest regarding shark control activities when they have been introduced in Western Australia and you’d expect to see a similar level of public outcry if that was done, particularly in Byron Bay”

Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson said that the attack earlier this year was rare and netting could have devastating long lasting effects on marine life.

“Naturally when something like this occurs a response, out of fear, is to question should our beaches be netted”, he said.

“While netting is not a council responsibility, I don’t believe that it would be widely supported in community and should not be considered within a stunning marine park on our doorstep.

“But again I don’t believe the community of Byron believes there’s a manmade way that we can somehow stop nature.”

Stories via The Australian, ABC

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