Feasibility study on Coogee Beach Shark Exclusion Net
COOGEE BEACH SHARK EXCLUSION ZONE
Over the last several years there has been an increased incidence of fatal shark attacks on swimmers, surfers and divers along Western Australia’s west coast, including the Perth Metropolitan area. Each of these attacks has been attributed to great white sharks.
At the 10th November 2011 Ordinary Council Meeting, Deputy Mayor Kevin Allen requested that officers prepare a report to be provided to a future Council meeting, investigating the feasibility of installing shark nets on a section of Coogee Beach.
The report presented is to address all necessary issues, including, but not limited to costs, engineering feasibility, effect on the marine environment, length of deployment, community consultation and any other issues considered relevant by the officer compiling the report.
This feasibility study explores the benefits versus dis-benefits of installing shark nets on a section of Coogee Beach and includes consideration of potential location and extent,practicality and usefulness (in inhibiting shark attack), initial and ongoing costs and funding opportunities. It also covers collateral risks to the environment, obstacles and difficulties including in regard to other beach uses, regulatory constraints and extent of Council Authority to implement, key Stakeholder attitudes to the proposa,l and likelihood of community acceptance.
The study has relevance to the Strategic Plan 2006-2016 Infrastructure Development items of:
· Construct & maintain community facilities that meet community needs; and
· Construct and maintain parks and bushland reserves that are convenient and safe for public use, and do not compromise environmental management.
The potential benefit for the community is a convenient location to enjoy swimming in the ocean with a reduced risk of being attacked by sharks (and possibly other sea creatures depending on the nature of the nets). This potentially adds to the preparedness of beachgoers to enter the water, which in turn could be expected to increase the overall public visitation and usage of Coogee Beach, and profile of the City as a desirable place to visit.
The Council may also benefit indirectly through the increased popularity and recognition of Coogee Beach as a premier location for beach activities within the Metropolitan Area and the state overall. This Feasibility Study provides the requested information and a recommendation on following actions, for the Councillors consideration.