NSW: Second Shark Net Trial For The North Coast

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


NSW North coast shark net trial to end early

Media Release

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

29.May 2017

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NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair today announced that the NSW Government will begin removing all five nets from the North Coast Shark Net Trial.

The trial nets at Lighthouse Beach (Ballina), Sharpes Beach (Ballina), Shelly Beach (Ballina), Seven Mile Beach (Lennox Head) and Evans Head Beach have been in the water for almost six months.

Mr Blair said the decision to end the trial two weeks earlier than anticipated, follows an increase in whale sightings along the NSW coastline.

“While we are ending the trial slightly earlier, we now have almost six months’ worth of data for our shark scientists to analyse,” Mr Blair said.

“This week, DPI will also begin deploying an additional 10 SMART drumlines (weather pending), bringing the total number of SMART drumlines to 35 on the North Coast.

“Over the past five months SMART drumlines have caught 29 target sharks, with all but one being tagged and released alive – that compares to only six target sharks caught in the nets.

“The research from this trial is world-class and will provide great insight to researchers, not only in NSW, but right across the world.”

A community survey is underway to seek feedback on the trial, which is taking place via the internet, the phone, or at one of DPI’s community drop-in stands – the online survey is available until 5pm, 31 May, through the DPI website.

Helicopters will continue to operate every weekend on the North Coast and daily flights and drones will re-commence during the July school holidays.

The NSW Government will make a decision on the future of the nets in early spring, following consultation with the community, scientists and the Commonwealth.

Source: NSW State Government


WA: World-first shark deterrent subsidy kicks-off

Media Statement

Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA
Minister for Water; Fisheries; Forestry;
Innovation and ICT; Science

Friday, 26 May 2017

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  • ​Election commitment delivered
  • Subsidy of $200 for 1,000 devices starts today

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly is urging Western Australians to benefit from a world-first rebate scheme for personal shark deterrents which begins today.

The trial subsidy delivers on the McGowan Labor Government’s election commitment to protect water users who are most at risk – surfers and divers.

Since 2000, 13 of the 15 fatal shark attack victims in WA have been surfers or divers.

The trial offers a rebate of $200 for the first 1,000 independently verified shark deterrent devices purchased from retailers registered with the Department of Fisheries.

The Shark Shield Freedom 7 is an approved device and is available for the subsidy from today. Other devices will be included in the rebate scheme if they receive independent verification that proves the devices effectiveness.

The $200 rebate will be applied at the point of sale.  For more information, including a list of registered retailers, visit www.sharksmart.com.au

This rebate forms part of a new multi-faceted shark mitigation strategy announced earlier this month.  For more information, visit A smarter approach to shark mitigation in WA waters

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:

“I urge surfers and divers to take part in this subsidy scheme to help further protect themselves from the risk of a shark attack.

“Since 2000, 13 of the 15 fatal shark attack victims have been surfers or divers.

“It is not practical to have beach enclosures at every surf break or dive locations along our coast.  That is why offering individual protection to surfers and divers makes the most sense.

“The McGowan Labor Government is serious about helping to reduce the threat of shark attacks by making the best use of new science-based technology to improve personal protection and shark monitoring along WA’s coast.”

Source: State Government of Western Australia

Related video by the Department of Fisheries WA:

A smarter approach to shark mitigation in WA waters

Media Statement

Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA
Minister for Water; Fisheries;
Forestry; Innovation and ICT; Science

13. May 2017

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  • Election commitment for a shark deterrent subsidy delivered
  • Shark monitoring network extended to Esperance
  • Election commitment for Beach Emergency Numbering grants delivered
  • Funding provided to the City of Mandurah for beach enclosure at Falcon Beach
  • Aerial and beach patrols funded after former government left budget black hole

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly today unveiled a new multi-faceted shark mitigation strategy that included the State Government’s pre-election pledge to provide a subsidy trial for independently verified personal shark deterrent devices.

The McGowan Labor Government’s new policy has a strong focus on using new technologies to provide additional protection for those at most risk, surfers and divers.

The new approach includes:

  • $200,000 for a trial rebate of $200 for 1,000 independently verified devices for the State’s most vulnerable water users – surfers and divers. This rebate will be available from May 26, 2017. For more information, visit www.sharksmart.com.au
  • Grants for local councils to install Beach Emergency Numbering signs, a coding system designed to improve emergency response times. Regional councils can apply for grants of up to $50,000 and metropolitan councils can apply for grants up to $25,000. Funding will be available from 2017-18. Further details will be released following consultation with the Western Australian Local Government Association;
  • Surf Life Saving WA to use drones to monitor beaches, following on from a successful trial in 2016;
  • Two VR4 receivers to detect tagged sharks deployed at Esperance. The locations of these receivers will be determined following community consultation over the coming weeks; and
  • $200,000 for the City of Mandurah to install a beach enclosure at Falcon Beach.

The McGowan Labor Government this week also committed funds to ensure Surf Life Saving WA could continue aerial and beach patrols after the former Liberal National Government failed to allocate appropriate funding beyond June 30, 2017.

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:

“During the election, we committed to using new technologies to provide greater protection for surfers and divers who are most at risk of a shark attack.

“As a result, today we are announcing the details of a trial subsidy scheme for independently verified shark repellent technology.

“A total of 13 out of 15 victims of fatal shark attacks in WA since 2000 have been surfers or divers. Faced with these facts, providing these water users with additional protection makes the most sense.

“We also promised to offer financial assistance to local councils who wish to introduce emergency response signs along beaches with public access. Today, we deliver on that promise too.

“In light of recent incidents, we are extending our shark monitoring network to Esperance through the deployment of two real time shark detection receivers.

“The McGowan Government is serious about helping reduce the threat of shark attacks by making best use of science-based new technology.”

Source: State Government of Western Australia


South Africa: Teenager bitten by a shark at Plettenberg Bay

News Release

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI)

29. April 2017

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At 17h07, Saturday, 29th April, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were activated following reports of a person bitten by a shark at The Waves, a popular surf spot at Keurbooms, Plettenberg Bay.

NSRI rescue crew responded directly to the scene, the AMS/EMS Skymed rescue helicopter was placed on alert, Med-Life ambulance services responded and the sea rescue craft Free Runner, Airlink Rescuer and Leonard Smith were launched.

On arrival on the scene a 14 year old Port Elizabeth male teenager was found already on the beach with bite marks and bite lacerations to his right calf sustained from a shark bite while surfing.

He was treated by NSRI medics and by paramedics on the scene for lacerations and bite marks to his right calf before being transported to hospital by ambulance in a stable condition where he will receive sutures and although in a stable and satisfactory condition he will be kept in hospital overnight as a normal precaution.

The teenager was on his surf-board surfing. 2 other surfers were also out surfing there at the time.   At the back-line he turned to catch a wave when he saw a fin approaching towards him, he felt a bump and he felt a bite on his right calf.   He caught a wave to the beach where he was met by his dad, who had witnessed the incident, and by bystanders who rendered assistance while raising the alarm.

Shark researchers will investigate to determine the species and size of the shark but initial indications lean towards the bite being made by a White Shark of approximately 2 meters length but this has not been confirmed.

NSRI, in a statement to media yesterday, requested caution for bathers, paddlers and surfers along the Southern Cape coastline where an increased number of sightings of sharks have been witnessed close in-shore.

Source: NSRI


Kentucky Teen Recovering From Shark Bite

News Release

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office

03. April 2017

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A 17-year old tourist from Louisville Kentucky suffered six puncture wounds from a shark bite, but was able to punch the shark as it was biting her to try to drive it away.

Caitlyn Taylor suffered a bite wound to her leg yesterday while swimming the in the Gulf of Mexico behind a condominium at 1040 East Highway 98 in Destin.

Witnesses say a five foot shark bit the girl while she was in waist deep water around 3:39 p.m.

Caitlyn says she initially thought it was a dolphin in the water. It was in a wave headed towards her. She says it took her by the legs, tugged on her, and immediately turned her lose.

Caitlyn’s friends estimated the shark to be about five feet long. The type of shark is undetermined.

Emergency personnel said Caitlyn had scrape wounds on her left leg and puncture wounds on her right leg near her knee. She required eighty stitches to that leg.

She was treated at the Destin Emergency Room.

Family members say they were in town for Caitlyn to play in a softball tournament.

Source: Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office