The Senate enquiry into shark mitigation and deterrents took place last Tuesday 2 May in Byron Bay.
The hearing looked a a wide range of responses to deterring sharks from netting and culling to technological approaches.
Several locals including Ian Cohen and Dean Jefferys were at the hearing presenting their position on shark deterrents.
‘I was pleased to be able to bring this important Inquiry to Byron Bay,’ said Senator Peter Whish-Wilson who headed up the hearing.
‘I worked to make sure that sure that all sides of the shark net debate had a chance to be heard. I set up this inquiry to help take the fear and hysteria out of the debate.
‘The thought of sharks do bring out strong views in the community but it is important that decision makers respond by considering the large body of evidence that exists. What this Inquiry is helping to do is pull together all of that evidence.
‘In Byron we heard from a number of scientists who provided evidence that shark nets do nothing to make the ocean safe for swimmers and surfers but do have an impact on endangered species. We also heard from a shark bite victim, Dale Carr, who said that the media response to his incident added enormously to his trauma.
‘I hope to have more hearings in Canberra and also in Queensland, and I will still keep trying to give a chance for the NSW Department of Primary Industries to attend to respond to some of the criticisms that have emerged about their shark netting program.’