A proposed trial of drumlines to monitor and control sharks at Tathra and Merimbula beaches got the support of council, as long as it is not involved and is indemnified of any consequences of the trial.
The controversial system of catching, tagging and releasing sharks through Shark-Management-Alert-in-Real-Time (SMART) drumlines is being proposed by DPI Fisheries at multiple locations on the NSW coast.
Not all councillors were in support of the trial taking place on the Sapphire Coast. Cr Cathy Griff said the statistics of shark attacks was very small and the risks of entanglement and cost of continuous monitoring required large – “sharks have a bad name, cars should have a worse one”.
However councillors including Jo Dodds and Russell Fitzpatrick said the possible data to be sourced through drumlines was a valuable enough proposition to support the idea. However, Cr Fitzpatrick wanted to have DPI Fisheries conduct its own community surveys to determine whether to proceed with the trial, and that council have indemnity over any consequences of the trial. His motion passed with only one dissenting vote.