New NSW shark nets yield same low results

New data from a shark net trial on the NSW North Coast shows only one 'target species' was caught in the first month of the trial.

Only one "target" shark was caught in new nets deployed off the NSW North Coast in the first five weeks of their trial, while 53 other animals became entangled in the mesh.

Data released by the NSW government on Wednesday showed a single bull shark was caught in the nets off five beaches within the boundaries of Richmond Valley Council.

Meanwhile, 41 rays of different species were caught, with 16 of them dying, as well as four turtles, two of which died.

The second shark meshing trial, which began in November 2017, is using different types of netting at different heights to an earlier trial in order to reduce "by-catch", the Department of Primary Industries has previously told AAP.

In the first trial, which ran from December 2016 to May 2017, 275 animals were caught in the netting, nine of which were target sharks - a strike rate of three per cent.

The government considers tiger, white and bull sharks as target species.

Five fewer animals were caught in the new nets over a four week period compared to a similar time frame in December last year during the first trial.

Greens MP Justin Field called on the government to scrap the "ineffective" netting.

"This report is yet more evidence the shark netting program in NSW does little to keep people safe in the water but takes a terrible toll on local marine life," Mr Field said.

"A recent Senate report found people are 100 times more likely to drown at the beach than to be killed by a shark in Australia. The risk is infinitesimally small."

Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair, accused the greens of using the "regular, planned" release of a monthly report to run a scare campaign over summer.

He said claims the strategy isn't a science-based approach were inaccurate.

"Not only are we leading the world with our research and technology, we are also continually consulting with the community regarding all our approaches," Mr Blair said in a statement.

The DPI has been contacted for comment.

Source: AAP

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch