29.9 C
Byron Shire
February 5, 2023

Shark ‘listening stations’ for Byron, Ballina

Latest News

Natural history

While I have not the informed authority to confirm John Bradley’s musings on the birds that seem to be...

Other News

Go Thistles!

Lismore Thistles Soccer Club has launched the Thistles Acceleration Program, in the process becoming the city’s only player development academy. 

V-Day returns to Byron Bay, February 14

A mass global action, One Billion Rising, which aims to end violence against women and children, is planned for V-Day on February 14, Main Beach, Byron Bay from 7am.

Vinnies

What have they done to our Vinnies here in Mullum? They’ve killed it! It has reopened and it is...

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Have your Perfect Say

We live in a community where there is nowhere to live and the whole world is watching what we do next, wondering if we will do what their superstar tourist destinations did and regulate the housing market

Who’s extinct now?

The Nationals MP for Clarence, Mr Gulaptis, is soon to retire and I can hear the koalas clapping. As...

Kura and Sou: two authentic Japanese Byron restaurants

Simon Haslam Kura is an authentic Japanese restaurant serving yakitori, sushi and ramen, located in the heart of Byron Bay....

The state government will  begin trialling 'smart buoys' off Byron Bay and Ballina to operate in conjunction with 'smart drum-lines' to catch and tag sharks. (Pic: Wikipedia)
The state government will begin trialling ‘smart buoys’ off Byron Bay and Ballina to operate in conjunction with ‘smart drum-lines’ to catch and tag sharks. (Pic: Wikipedia)

The department of primary industries (DPI) is installing two ‘listening stations’ for tagged sharks in the ocean off Byron Bay’s Clarkes Beach and Ballina’s Sharpes Beach.

The beaches were chosen because they have both been associated with shark attacks in recent times.

The satellite-based system will track tagged sharks via a smartphone app called SharkSmart.

The app will provide a warning to users when tagged sharks approach the buoy carrying the receiver /transmitter.

A downside of the system is that it will only respond to tagged sharks and, despite a significant effort from DPI in the region, just 14 sharks have been tagged so far this year.

But a significant side benefit of the app is that it will also potentially minimise the number of protected sharks, such as grey nurse, accidentally caught on fishhooks.

A DPI map of the sharks tagged in north cost waters shows their significant movement, with some found as far afield as the west coast of Victoria and the south coast of Tasmania.

A DPI spokesperson said the north coast had been included in the program because of the two fatal attacks and other incidents in the region in the past 12 months.

They are being deployed in conjunction with so-called ‘smart’ drum lines, which will alert DPI when sharks are caught on them.

The animals are then tagged and released.

Wildlife groups have opposed the use of the drum lines, saying they will lead to unnecessary trauma and even death of the animals.

No Shark Cull chairperson Sharnie Connell said the survival rates of protected white sharks on the drum lines was ‘unknown’.

‘The stress the animals endure whilst they are attached to the hook awaiting the contractor to travel out to tag and release the animal is often lethal,’ she said.

‘There is also likely to be impacts on critically endangered grey nurse shark populations on smart drum lines,’ Ms Connell added

The group was particularly concerned that critical habitat for grey nurse sharks occurs in known aggregation sites at Byron Bay.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. Once again you muddy the scientific waters by bringing the Grey Nurse into this story. It has been reported that these drumlines, if they are used, will be deployed during the day and retrieved at night. Because the Grey Nurse is essentially a nocturnal shark it is highly unlikely it would have any interaction with drumlines.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Community advocacy

I am a small business owner of Byron Central Apartments. Tamara Smith MP has recently supported us on two separate occasions advocating effectively with...

Swivel by name, drivel by nature

The lack of authenticity of Byron Councillor, Mark Swivel, does not come as a surprise from this side of the fence. A well-to-do lawyer...

Land values rise

Your cover story on 25 January claims that land valuation rises could herald increases in Council rates. This is potentially misleading. A council’s total...

Go Thistles!

Lismore Thistles Soccer Club has launched the Thistles Acceleration Program, in the process becoming the city’s only player development academy.