Byron mayor: Shark culling and netting is not the answer
BYRON Shire mayor Simon Richardson asked for calm over the building requests for beach netting or shark culling.
He reassured residents that he was in contact with the NSW Department of Primary Industries and was talking daily with local surfers.
"The recent call for shark netting or culling is not an approach that I believe our community would support.
"The recently released 2014-15 NSW shark meshing performance report has found that 77% (145) animals caught in the nets were either, threatened, protected and/or non-target animals.
"Byron Bay is located within a Marine Park and it is a significant part of our natural attraction. I don't believe that netting or culling is the answer.
"Let's work with shark researchers and Department of Primary Industries to find out more about what is going on.
What are the reasons we appear to have an increased shark population visiting our coastline? Is it just temporary issue?
"There is emerging technology with sonar and I would encourage further funding support on these types of initiatives.
"The state government announced $100,000 at the beginning of 2015 and I'm pleased regional areas are now part of the program.
"Byron Bay is a renowned holiday destination with many natural attractions and visitor experiences. Being alarmist is not the right approach," he said.
In the meantime, Mayor Richardson urged locals and visitors to report shark sightings to lifeguards on duty who can assist with informing other beach-goers.
"Main Beach Byron Bay is very fortunate that it is patrolled by professional and volunteer lifeguards all year round.
"Plus, don't swim or surf at dark or twilight, stay out of murky waters and away from bait balls," he said.
For more information on how to stay safe, go to this website.