15. November 2011
DEPUTY Mayor Kevin Allen has asked City of Cockburn officers to look at installing shark nets at Coogee Beach, in response to recent fatal shark attacks in WA.
At the City’s November council meeting last Thursday night, Cr Allen asked for a report on the cost, environmental and engineering feasibility, length of deployment and community consultation issues involved in laying down shark nets at the popular swimming spot.
“Not taking the position of hysteria, I think we should be investigating the feasibility of installing nets down there, or at least to a portion of the beach,” he said.
“Things have changed – it is certainly increasing.
“We seem to get more sharks during the September to December period, so the length of deployment would also need to be part of the review.
“We shouldn’t be complacent on these issues – I think we need to do this review, then liaise with government departments and surf clubs and also assess what is happening on the east coast.”
State Fisheries Department regional manager Tony Cappelluti said the State Government was considering a range of strategies to prevent shark attacks.
“There are a range of shark hazard mitigation strategies being considered and any new initiatives will be announced after that process is completed,” he said.
“It is important to point out that the Government has already taken substantial steps in providing additional helicopter monitoring services for Perth.”
Coogee Beach Surf Life Saving Club spokeswoman Sharyne Alberts said the club had discussed initiatives for Coogee Beach since the recent attacks and had decided to increase inflatable rescue boat patrols to have two operating together.
She said the club was not in a position to comment on the impact of shark nets on marine life and the coast but it supported Mr Allen’s motion to investigate the matter and would be interested in the result.