Nets won't stop sharks

A SHARK net won’t be included in the Jack Evans Boat Harbour upgrade despite the increased number of people the development might attract to the harbour’s waters.

Tweed Shire Council general manager Mike Rayner said the inclusion of a shark net at the harbour was a low priority for the community during consultation.

“The considerable community consultation during planning for the Jack Evans Boat Harbour upgrade did not identify a significant community demand for shark netting,” Mr Rayner said.

“It was raised by a handful of people during the consultation process but was well down the list of priorities identified by the hundreds of community members who provided feedback.”

A concerned Tweed Heads resident raised his fears at the threat posed by sharks to swimmers yesterday, and wondered why a swimming enclosure, like those seen on the Gold Coast, wasn’t included..

“If the area becomes more popular it would be a really good idea to put a shark net in there because a lot of people are concerned about sharks,” he said. Doctor Daniel Bucher, senior lecturer in marine biology at Southern Cross University said bull sharks, most likely small in size, would probably enter the harbour quite regularly. But he said shark nets weren’t worth the cost they caused to the environment or to the economy.

“I am not a fan of shark nets because they end up with a lot of by catch in them,” he said.

“If you look at the number of people swimming there compared to the number of shark attacks you can see you could use a lot of money trying to mitigate a very small risk.”

Trevor “Big Trev” Arbon, who has run a water sports business at the harbour for years, said he had never seen a shark in its clear blue waters.

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