shark_Flag_of_Queensland2News Release

Fisheries Queensland

15. March 2016

———————-

Report interference with shark control drumlines

The removal of several hooks, buoys and drumlines at the Sunshine Coast and Bribie Island this week has prompted calls for members of the public to report interference with shark control drumlines.

Fisheries Queensland spokesperson said with high numbers of swimmers at Queensland beaches, along with an increased number of shark sightings, the removal of drumlines is very concerning.

It appears that someone, or a number of people, have purposely removed or interfered with eleven drumlines at the Sunshine Coast and Bribie Island showing a complete disregard for swimmer safety.

Baited hooks are an important part of the government’s shark control program and if there is a shark in the area its senses are focused on the baited hook and not swimmers.

Importantly, any tampering compromises the effectiveness of the program and increases the risk of shark attack.

Anyone who sees any interference with the shark control gear should call the 24-hour Shark hotline on 1800 806 891.

Interference with shark control equipment carries an on-the-spot fine of $1178 and a maximum fine of $55,000.

Trained contractors regularly check the equipment as part of the shark control program and will be on the lookout for any unusual activities in the areas. All equipment will be returned Wednesday 15 March, weather permitting.

Important swimmer safety tips:

• Swim or surf only at patrolled beaches and between the flags
• Obey lifesavers’ and lifeguards’ advice, and heed all sign and safety warnings
• Leave the water immediately if a shark is sighted
• Do not swim or surf after dusk, at night or before dawn when sharks are most active
• Do not swim or surf in murky waters
• Do not swim in or near mouths of estuaries, artificial canals and lakes
• Never swim alone
• Never swim when bleeding
• Do not swim near schools of fish or where fish are being cleaned
• Do not swim near or interfere with shark control equipment
• Do not swim with animals.

Source: Fisheries Queensland