North coast aerial shark patrols, which were due to finish after Australia Day, will now continue up until Easter, according to parliamentary secretary for the north coast, Chris Gulaptis.
The patrols will, however, only be conducted over the weekends.
But shark ‘eco-barriers’ (new generation shark nets) that were meant to be in place at two Ballina beaches soon have been delayed by a month.
‘Recent aerial surveillance programs conducted in our region have shown to be an enormous success, helping alert authorities and the general public when a shark is posing danger to swimmers or surfers,’ Mr Gulaptis said.
‘Having that extra eye in the sky over our beaches during this time will give swimmers and surfers extra confidence when hitting the water,’ he added.
Surveillance flights will continue from Byron Bay to Evans Head, as well as in areas further south.
Mr Gulaptis said a delay in the completion to the eco-barriers had contributed to the extension of the flights.
‘The eco-nets have been specifically made – it’s not a one-size fits all, clearly – and every beach is different,’ he told ABC.
The nets will cover Lighthouse Beach at Ballina and Lennox Head.