14.1 C
Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Shark nets are back along Ballina shire beaches

Latest News

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning May 19

‘This Life’ is the first single off Jesse Morris and the Shakedown’s forthcoming and first ever vinyl release titled The Children of the Sun. 

Other News

Michael Lyon elected as Byron Mayor

Owing to the resignation of former Mayor at the end of April, a vote was held today to replace Simon Richardson, until the next election

Sweet n Sourdough

  Stop the press Mullumbimby! Sourdough donuts have arrived at the Mullum Farmers Markets, and boy will they get you...

Byron Farmers Market 

Return to Butler St Reserve hits a snag Byron Farmers Market moved from its home at Butler Street Reserve to...

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning May 19

‘This Life’ is the first single off Jesse Morris and the Shakedown’s forthcoming and first ever vinyl release titled The Children of the Sun. 

Water and the dam

Dr Roslyn Irwin, Caniaba An organisation called ‘Our Future NR’ is distributing and promoting information intended to put the Dunoon...

How much do you know about koalas?

How well do you know your koala facts? Test your knowledge at the June 2 Koala Hard Quiz in Mullumbimby.

Dean Jefferys at a protest at Coolangatta. (Facebook)
Dean Jefferys at a protest at Coolangatta. (Facebook)

A Byron shire ocean conservationist is organising a paddle out for this Saturday at Lennox Head during which conservationists plan to swim under shark nets, that have been reinstalled this morning.

Dean Jefferys, a filmmaker who captains a whale conservation yacht, Migaloo 2, has invited all interested parties to take part in the action aimed at showing that the shark nets are ineffective.

Mr Jeffery said the action on Saturday aimed to highlight the fact that the nets have killed over 150 marine creatures durring the last 6 month trial and that there are more effective non lethal alternatives.

‘The plan is to meet on the beach in front of Lennox Head surf club at midday ~ Saturday 25th Nov~ and spell out some large words with bodies and boards then paddle out to the Shark nets that are planned to be about 300 meters off shore,’ he said in a Facebook post advertising the event.

‘Those who feel confident and with masks and fins can then swim under the shark nets that go down about 5 meters. This will help dispel the fallacy that the nets are a total barrier and that sharks, like humans, can swim under the nets.

‘If humans can swim under the nets then surely sharks can,’ he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Jefferys has written to Ballina’s mayor David Wright, councillors, and the Ballina Chamber of Commerce, requesting a meeting to explore non-lethal options.

‘I have heard from various spokespeople that a downturn in tourism after an unwanted shark encounter is a major concern for business people from the Ballina shire as is finding solutions to the shark issue,’ Mr Jefferys said.

‘I have been talking with other marine conservationist and have come up with a list of non lethal ideas and activities that should be capable of preventing an unwanted shark encounter and has the potential to encourage people, rather than discourage people, to Ballina’s beaches.’

Mr Jeffery said if the shark netting program proceeded, there would be a campaign to encourage local people and tourists to visit and spend their money at non netted beaches where there is a priority to look after and protect the local and migrating marine life and provide more effective, non lethal shark mitigation technology e.g. shark watch, drum lines, spotters, education etc.

‘When/if we launch this campaign we will be encourage people to avoid shark netted beaches though out Australia.’

The NSW Department of Primary Industries this morning confirmed that the second shark net trial, approved by the state government, was again underway.

The second trial is taking place at the same five beaches – Lighthouse Beach (Ballina), Sharpes Beach (Ballina), Shelly Beach (Ballina), Seven Mile Beach (Lennox Head) and Evans Head – and was timed to follow the peak southward whale migration period.

The nets are again fitted with dolphin pingers and whale alarms. The second trial is also investigating changes to net operation and design to reduce bycatch (animals caught other than target sharks).

Up to 35 SMART drumlines continue to be deployed daily (weather permitting) between Lennox Head and Evans Head, as well as aerial surveillance on weekends and school holidays in the region.

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. Why not put the shark net money towards building a swimming pool at the beach for those people who feel unsafe in the ocean – leave the ocean for the original inhabitants – don’t tangle them up in some ineffectual barrier – it is madness.

  2. Am I being uncharitable when I suggest that there might be a big old shark waiting at the other side of the net waiting for the first person to swim under it? It’d be ironic, wouldn’t it, but think of the headline!

  3. Perhaps we should try ‘human nets’ … keep humans on the shore and save the poor critters from having their fins hacked off and all the other things us ‘advanced’ beings love to do !


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Interview with Peter Castaldi

The Quad in Lismore presents its first outdoor cinema event – programmed by nationally regarded film critic and programmer, Peter Castaldi. Peter told The Echo about the vision.

Byron Bay FC undefeated in ’21

Ross Kendall Despite having a bye last weekend the Byron Bay FC premier division women’s team sit on top of the premiership table with an...

Interview with magician James Galea

James Galea is no ordinary magician. He’s not the smarmy guy in purple velvet with a cage full of pigeons sawing women in half. In fact, James is proud to say he has never cut anyone in half.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Stirring the Tea Pot

A house without tea is not a home.