Western Australia: Independent Report on Shark Netting
Department of Fisheries, Western Australia
Monday 3 September 2012
Shark netting report open for public comment
•Independent report recommends shark enclosures for WA beaches
•Study recommends against shark nets and drum line use in WA
•State Government looks to feasibility for beach enclosures
A report into the effectiveness of shark netting and exclusion programs for Western Australia received by the State Government will be released for public comment.
The Final Report on the Likely Effectiveness of Netting or Other Capture Programs as a Shark Hazard Mitigation Strategy in Western Australia was an independent study by Associate Professor Daryl McPhee from Queensland’s Bond University.
Fisheries Minister Norman Moore said the report was commissioned by the Department of Fisheries as part of the State Government’s $13.65million funding commitment to review the State’s shark mitigation strategies.
“The report provides a comprehensive review of the pros and cons of shark netting/meshing programs and exclusion areas in other national and international jurisdictions,” Mr Moore said.
The Minister said that while the report reconfirmed previous concerns regarding shark netting, but had provided favourable support towards shark enclosures, it provided options and information to assist in controlling shark movements.
“The report identifies that shark netting programs do not provide a continuous barrier that prevents shark access to beach areas, but does result in the capture of other marine animals such as dolphins, marine turtles and rays,” he said.
“The report also commented on shark enclosures, which in contrast, provide a complete physical barrier that prevents sharks entering a selected area without targeting the reduction of shark numbers or resulting in the by-catch of other species.
“Shark enclosures however, are more suited to Western Australian wave conditions, do not silt up with sand and seaweed and do not result in by-catch of protected species, but would also be extremely costly to build and maintain.”
Mr Moore said the State Government maintained an open mind to all options, including shark enclosures and was keen to get public feedback on the report during the lead up to summer. (…)
The report, The likely effectiveness of netting or other capture programs as a shark hazard mitigation strategy in Western Australia, by Associate Professor Daryl McPhee, can be viewed HERE.
Source: Department of Fisheries, Western Australia.