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Byron Shire
September 21, 2021

Pop-up protest against shark nets at surf comp

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Calling for the removal of shark nets members of north coast marine conservation groups converged on the Roxy Pro and the Quiksilver Pro Surfing competitions at Coolangatta last Saturday. Holding up banners asking for the removal of Shark Nets on the beach they highlighted the plight of the many marine animals that are caught in the nets each year.

‘Many surfers are concerned both about being safe while surfing and also wanting to live in harmony with other marine creatures,’ said Co-ordinator of the protest, Dean Jefferys, from the Migaloo 2 marine conservation Foundation. ‘Snapper Rocks is flanked by a string of shark nets that have killed hundreds of marine creatures since their placement. We want to raise the issue about the effectiveness and the impact of the current shark net program on other sea users and offer more effective and non lethal alternatives to find a solution.

‘Since 1950 there have been over 16,500 marine creatures killed in these shark nets in NSW and QLD, over 5000 of them endangered or critical endangered.’ 

‘Shark nets do not offer the safety from sharks they profess as sharks can simply swim around the nets. Cheaper and more effective alternative technologies currently exist that make the public safer without increasing the dangers to other marine life. They include, the Spotters Program, Personal repellents, Sonar, Shark tagging, Education and the use of drones for spotting. I am a drone operator currently working with Shark Watch around the Byron region. It is a non lethal example of an effective, real time, community based solution that could be expanded along Australia’s east coast.’

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  1. I can’t think of a more inappropriate venue for a pro-shark protest than a surfing carnival. Do these people have seaweed for brains?

  2. Think that’s why they had it there. It’s the surfers whose interests are being protected at the expense of marine life.

  3. seriously echonet do some research rather than just jumping on a band wagon

    one quick search on this dean jefferies guy and his mate anna breytenbach and you realise he has no scientific proof … apparently they have telepathically spoken with the sharks and they don’t like the taste of humans …….. seriously this is just ridiculous .. apparently we need to send a telepathic message to the shark when we go surfing.. having lived in around the water for 50 odd years i have never heard more rubbish in my life …… very average journalism on your behalf…. step it up and get real…… a little balance in your reporting would be appreciated………your taking your readers for uneducated emotional idiots which most of us are not…..


  4. Excellent work! It’s great to see people getting onto this issue. Shark nets are barbaric and the desire for them is based on erroneous assumptions and selfishness. I just wish the protest could have been more widely advertised prior to the event so I could’ve joined in. Keep up the great work Dean!


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