Is It Time for Maroubra to Get Rid of Shark Nets?

Is It Time for Maroubra to Get Rid of Shark Nets?

Maroubra is among the 51 beach locations where the Shark Meshing Program is being implemented. Do you think it’s time to get rid of the shark nets?




Some NSW coastal areas could soon be ditching shark nets altogether if plans of letting each council area decide for itself pushes through.

Agriculture Minister Dugald recently confirmed that the state government is in talks with councils about the future of the current shark bite mitigation program. Among those who have shown strong support for the removal of the shark nets is Central Coast MP Adam Crouch, and if he could have his way, he would like his electorate to be the first region to do so.

Wollongong’s Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery also expressed his support for the proposal stating that there are better approaches to protecting both human life and the marine environment.

Randwick Council is also calling for a change in the current shark net program and expressed their full support for the additional shark mitigation measures including SMART drum lines and listening stations by voting to take part in the trial.

Grey nurse shark
Photo Credit: The original uploader was Jlencion at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 2.5 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5>/Wikimedia Commons

Since 1937, shark nets have been deployed on Sydney’s beaches as a measure to reduce the risk of shark attacks. The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) manages the deployment of these nets at 51 NSW beaches, including Maroubra, from September to April each year.

A 2021-21 Annual Performance Report, however, showed that out of the 376 marine animals that were caught in the shark nets during the period from 1 September 2021 to 30 April 2022, an overwhelming 85 per cent or 325 were non-target animals.

Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
Photo Credit: Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>/Wikimedia Commons

Threatened or protected species that were caught includes 28 white sharks, 14 green turtles, 16 leatherback turtles, 14 grey nurse sharks and 4 loggerhead turtles.

Moreover, during the period, there was one reported human-shark interaction at a meshed beach involving a surfer who was bumped by an unidentified shark at Maroubra Beach in early March 2022.



Also, there were seven verified interactions at unmeshed beaches, three of which happened in the shark meshing region including a spearfisher who was uninjured after fending off a white shark at Magic Point, Maroubra (just one kilometre south of the closest meshed beach) in March 2022.

Early this year, the NSW Government announced that it will invest an additional $85 million in shark mitigation technology including SMART drum lines and SMART listening stations.