Waverley Council Mayor, Paula Masselos, has slammed shark nets as ineffective and outdated as the council pushes for their removal from the LGA’s famous Bondi Beach.
The Mayor says the nets create a false sense of safety for swimmers.
“[The nets] are only 150m long, six metres high and set at a depth of about 10m. They’re not there to actually create a barrier between swimmers and sharks, but they sort of help disrupt some of the swimming patterns,” the Mayor told Channel 9’s Today show this morning.
“When you look at Bondi, it is actually a kilometre long. So the shark net isn’t creating a huge barrier at all.”
Her comments follow the release last month of a NSW Department of Primary Industries report for the 2021-2022 season found that 325 of 376 animals caught in nets were non-targeted, critically endangered species.
The report also found that 62% of animals caught by the nets had perished.
The Mayor said there were better ways of keeping the community safe from sharks.
“I think it’s actually creating a false sense of safety,” said Mayor Masselos.
She said SMART drumlines, aerial drone surveillance and ‘listening buoys’ were more efficient options for detecting sharks.
There are currently 51 shark nets installed at beaches along the 250km stretch of coastline between Newcastle and Wollongong.