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Byron Shire
April 20, 2024

Animal-friendly shark deterrent wanted

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Still no letters in The Echo asking our council or Marine Park Authority how they plan to manage the increasing threat of large sharks in our waters.

To simply make comment about people knowing the risks when they enter the sharks’ domain is a cop-out, and burying our heads in the sand won’t make the issue go away.

I am in the water three or four times a week and usually with my five-year-old son. Everyone I know who uses the water this much usually knows of many sightings, and we have also seen visitors put themselves in dangerous situations, usually surf-craft related at the Pass or going out at unpatrolled Tallows as inexperienced swimmers.

We have signage relating to surfboard etiquette and dangerous surf but nothing about large sharks (only increasing in size) during the whale migration period. Don’t our visitors at the very least deserve to be informed?

Can The Echo start showing some responsibility by encouraging dialogue on the issue? There are many shark deterrent measures that could be implemented by council and the MPA. Sure many aren’t 100 per cent foolproof, but some kind of multifaceted, animal-friendly approach would come close I believe.

Wayne Stokes, Ewingsdale

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  1. I know the risks, it is a sharks domain, not a humans. I worry more about being hit by a car than being bitten by a shark.

  2. I sympathize with your concerns. Given the swimming speed of sharks, I don’t know of any system that can detect and then send a fast message to other people in the water.

    1. Does anyone have experience with following device?

    Best thing to do is start spreading the word to upskill people. Here are three ideas

    1. In the following article, here is a video of Val Taylor with her experience

    Here are more links.
    2. http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/wildlife/2011/10/how-to-avoid-a-shark-attack/

    3. There is a phone app on this site.

    People who see dangerous sharks in shallows should tell lifesavers.
    On top of all this advice, I would suggest that fishers not cast their lines
    on popular swimming beaches such as Main Beach or Clarke’s Beach.


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