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Byron Shire
December 2, 2023

Shark mitigation hearings to continue in Canberra and Qld

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A bronze whaler shark. Photo marinebio.org
A bronze whaler shark. Photo marinebio.org

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.’

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  1. Let’s face it, short of a serious ongoing culling nothing is likely to be done. Traders and holiday park owners are just going to have to get used to lower incomes in this area while these people squabble and bicker over ‘sharks rights’.

  2. As most marine scientist will confirm culling actually has the opposite effect in stopping unwanted shark encounters. As we are currently seeing at reunion island of France a serious shark cull in the past caused a huge imbalance in the Marne ecology which has attracted more potentially dangerous sharks to the area with more encounters. I was wondering if when the next shark encounter happens within the netted area around Ballina how long it would take to start calling for a cull. Killing out of fear s not the answer. Working to restore balance in the oceans and living with harmony with other creature is one solution. If you still live in fear of going in the ocean try taking up bush walking. Hang on your more likely to die of a snake bite than a shark. Just stay in bed. But don’t kill marine creature who live in the ocean that don’t have other options.


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