WATERCOOLER: Let’s come up with national shark plan

THERE is so much discussion about sharks in the media these days.

In part it is in response to the two attacks in Ballina this year.

And I think, on the whole, the discussion has been healthy and rigorous, but I am not sure that we've got it exactly right yet.

Plenty of well intentioned people have set up new protocols for shark sightings in Ballina.

In part, that is to count how big a problem sharks are to public safety.

Perhaps it is time for a national shark study and a set of best practice protocols we can roll out to all states.

I know there are loads of people who simply say that we enter the water at our own risk. That is true.

But we could be better prepared when we go to get in the water.

What do you think we should do to prevent shark attacks?

This poll ended on 12 August 2015.

Current Results

Install more shark nets on patrolled beaches


Close beaches most populated by sharks


Educate swimmers and surfers more


Trial more high technology devices


Nothing. There will always be attacks


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

And it there is technology that can help detect when a shark is present at the beach as an early warning, that can only be a good thing.

Also, if the government wants to invest money on shark repellent mechanisms, I say go for it.

If you could cover yourself in vegemite and know it would ward off the fangy beasts, then please tell me.

There seems a lot of truths and halve truths about sharks out there.

This misinformation is not that helpful to the debate.

How about we convene a meeting of all the national and international experts on this subject and come up with a plan.

Anything that can increase public safety while recognising sharks are in their natural environment has got to be a good thing.

WHAT DO THINK? Should authorities be doing more to curb shark attacks. Or are the risks still low?

What you're saying on Facebook:

Allyson Jennings: "The risks are significantly low. You are more likely to drown or have a car accident than to be bitten by a shark. However it is time there was some serious dialogue about how we can protect both marine life and beachgoers. And it must involve ALL stakeholders from lifesaving, emergency services, conservation, scientists, aerial patrols and more. We do not have to choose between both, we can do both with a number of great non lethal alternatives out there. Shark Spotters have a successful program in South Africa. Eco Shark Barrier is installed at a few beaches in WA with great success. Shark nets and drum lines do not work."

Adam Zink: "Leave nature alone. It's there home not yours."

Marc Overall: "How about get out of the water."

Nick Matthews: "Expect to perhaps get attacked by a species in their natural habitat. We've tried controlling species on land that attack. That hasn't worked either."

Troy Achilles: "More people die from ferral pig attacks. .and choking on jelly beans!."

David Maison: '"if you play on the Highway'..you'll get run over.........say no more."

Join our daily watercooler conversation by leaving your comment below.

After 30 years of planning, bypass opens in true Byron style

Premium Content After 30 years of planning, bypass opens in true Byron style

A convoy of Kombis were the first vehicles to travel the new road

New Parkinson’s specialist nurse joins Tweed-Byron network

Premium Content New Parkinson’s specialist nurse joins Tweed-Byron network

People living with Parkinson’s disease now have added support

Hospitality businesses urged to sign up to COVID program

Premium Content Hospitality businesses urged to sign up to COVID program

The free meal voucher program is expected to be rolled out soon