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Byron Shire
December 5, 2023

Meeting considers shark culling, nets and deterrent technology

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Shark caught in a net. File photo
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Shark mitigation and deterrents are on the agenda for a meeting in Byron Bay today of the Senate Environment and Communications Senate Committee.

‘We will be looking have a wide range of people presenting on the issue,’ said committee chair, Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.

A wide range of views will be presented from netting, drum lines and culling to the use of technology to identify and repel sharks.

Almost no government money has been directed into the development of shark mitigation technology and Whish-Wilson hopes that this will soon change.

‘We are looking at all technologies and the different options. We are hoping to get a lot more government funding to get some of the new technologies independently tested to determine how effective they are,’ said Whish-Wilson.

There will be presentations from experts, shark attack victims, first responders and both the Ballina and Byron Shire Mayors among others.

They will also be looking at the intersection of state and federal laws and what regulation is required both in relation to the impact of different strategies on sharks mitigation and other endangered species as well as regulation of personal shark repelling devices.


Witnesses include scientists, surfing representatives, environment groups, local councils and first responders.

8.30 am Ballina Chamber of Commerce
9.00 am Mr John Heaton Mr Don Munro
9.40 am Mr Dale Carr (via teleconference)
Mr Garry Meredith
Mr Darren Rogers
10.30 am Break
10.40 am Ballina Shire Council & Byron Shire Council
11.20 am Surfing Australia
12.00 pm Associate Professor Daryl McPhee
12.40 pm Lunch
1.30 pm Dr Daniel Bucher
2.10 pm Australian Marine Conservation Society
2.50 pm Break
3.00 pm Ms Jann Gilbert & Ms Caitlin Weatherstone
3.40 pm Australian Seabird Rescue Inc.
4.20 pm Sunshine Coast Environment Council
5.00 pm Adjournment

The hearing is open to the public and runs from 8:30 am to 5 pm Tuesday, 2nd May at the Belongil Pavillion, Elements of Byron, 144 Bayshore Drive, Byron Bay.

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  1. High time to invest in shark repulsion, not shark “mitigation” (aka extermination). The bottom line is: we belong on land, they belong in the ocean and we have NO right to claim the sea as our danger-free playground. In areas notoriously frequented by sharks – stay out of the water and go splash around elsewhere.


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