Media Release

Niall Blair
Minister for Primary Industries
Minister for Regional Water
Minister for Trade and Industry

01. September 2017

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A second shark net trial will take place at five beaches on the NSW North Coast following the analysis of results of the first trial, which was completed earlier this year.

Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said more data is needed in order to make a longterm decision on the future of the nets.

“During the six-month trial we tested both nets and SMART drumlines, and while the drumlines proved more effective at catching ‘target’ sharks, a further trial will provide more evidence of the nets’ effectiveness and allow us to address some of the issues raised.

“The results from the first trial showed that the community felt safer, however they remain concerned by the amount of by-catch.

“The nets will again be fitted with dolphin ‘pingers’ and whale alarms but there will also be a number of modifications to the design and operation of the nets in an attempt to minimise by-catch numbers.”

Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast, Ben Franklin said during the net trial there were no shark attacks at any of the five-netted North Coast beaches.

“We know local tourism is improving, beaches are filling up again and importantly we are seeing more people being ‘shark smart’.”

The second trial will take place at the same five beaches – Lighthouse Beach (Ballina), Sharpes Beach (Ballina), Shelly Beach (Ballina), Seven Mile Beach (Lennox Head) and Evans Head – and commence at the end of the southward peak whale migration period in early November.

25 SMART drumlines will continue to be deployed daily (weather permitting), as well as drone and helicopter surveillance.

Recently 20 SMART drumlines were rolled out around Coffs Harbour and Forster, with a further 20 to be deployed from November along the South Coast.

“We are using the best technology in the world to address shark attacks here in NSW – from the north to south we are making sure we have the best possible measures in place and beachgoers are as informed as they can be,” Mr Blair said.

The trial will be undertaken in accordance with State and Commonwealth approvals.

Source: NSW Government