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Byron Shire
March 4, 2021

Push for more inspections of Ballina shark nets

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A Mobula Ray caught in a shark net off Shelly Beach. Photo contributed

A Ballina Shire councillor has accused the NSW Department of Primary Industries of failing to inspect shark nets for by-catch along the Ballina coastline, despite a commitment to do so.

Cr Jeff Johnson said the latest figures from the department showed that the nets were only inspected on 14 occasions during January, which was nowhere near the commitment of 50 to 60 inspections a month.

Cr Johnson said the DPI ‘simply don’t care about the commitments made when the trial was announced.

‘I have also seen footage of a ray that was entangled in the shark nets with the full knowledge of the DPI yet it wasn’t released,’ he said.

‘The net wasn’t inspected for two days. I’m concerned that having marine life, such as rays or large fish species caught in the nets and not released within a short period of time could act as a shark attraction which would largely defeat the purpose of having the nets installed.

‘During January, 30 animals were caught and 25 released. That means that five animals died. I’m sure that this number could be significantly reduced if the nets were inspected every morning and afternoon. ‘

Cr Johnson has lodged a notice of motion for Thursday’s meeting calling on the council to write to the NSW DPI and appropriate members of parliament asking that the DPI adhere to the commitments they have provided in respect to regular inspections of the North Coast Shark nets.

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  1. Well !
    The Dept. of Primary Industry ‘simply don’t care ‘……..WHAT ?
    On the whole I’m sure the DPI care as much about this issue as they do about,
    the criminals destroying the Murray-Darling,
    the whole sale clearing of native vegetation,
    the indiscriminate use of poisons,herbicides,fungicides in macadamia and cane farms,
    and anything else that would conflict with the liberal/national minority government.
    Welcome to Barnaby World. …..G”)

    • Put the nets to better use. Just wrap the DPI dudes in the nets and let nature take its course because this is how they are acting at the moment….not a care in the world for marine life trapped in those killer curtains.

  2. More inspections to determine how many non targeted species are already dead??? Stop beating around the bush & just get rid of them


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