Shark protection measures rolled out on Cap Coast
SEEKING to calm a community worried after drumlines were removed along the Capricorn Coast, the Queensland Government has revealed its new shark protection strategy.
Speaking during his visit to Rockhampton yesterday, Minister for Fisheries Mark Furner said the Capricorn Coast with its 49 drumlines was the most heavily impacted region by the court decision to prevent the catching and removal of sharks in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
To counter the lack of protection, Mr Furner revealed plans to bolster the five existing drumlines at Lammermoor Beach with two extra installed yesterday.
They were able to keep the traditional drumlines operating because a section of the beach was situated outside of the marine park area.
On Wednesday, Mr Furner was out on the water seeing a contractor work on the drumlines first hand.
He said logistics, equipment and lack of training meant they were unable to comply with the court and the Opposition’s demand that they commence a tag and release program.
“The equipment they have on those boats does not allow them to bring a shark onto the boat,” Mr Furner said.
“They do not have the capabilities to tag a shark and do not have vets on-board, which is a requirement of animal welfare under the state legislation, and they do not have the training to deal with the change.”
He said the Queensland Government was spending $1 million annually over the next four years to investigate shark protective technologies.
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said her government had acted swiftly to deploy the additional drumlines and install shark safety signage on the beaches affected by the change.
“I think that the Federal Goverment needs to introduce legislation to allow us to have these existing drumlines reinstalled,” Ms Lauga said.
“I encourage everyone to take the advice of the signs we’ve erected along the beaches.”
Capricorn Coast historical shark control statistics
2017: 41 caught
2018: 43 caught
2019: 36 caught so far
Be Safe. Be SharkSmart
- Don’t swim at dawn or dusk
- Always swim in clear water (not in murky water, anchorages, estuary mouths or canals)
- Don’t throw food scraps or fish waste overboard
- Don’t swim where fish are being cleaned
- Swim, surf, snorkel or dive with a buddy
- Follow local signage and swim between the flags at patrolled beaches.