Koalaboi

Shark Meshing: Is it Worth It?

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Hi,

Shark meshing is an emotive topic and worth a chat.

Fresh on after the snapper fishing closure dispute in SA, is an article on the ABC news website today, reviewing the shark meshing report for the latest season (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-08/call-to-remove-shark-nets-with-other-marine-life-caught/11396366 )

Here's the 2018/19 season figures below. Is it worth it?

The full report is here: https://www.sharksmart.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/1149640/smp-2018-19-annual-performance-report.pdf

KB

image.png.4ed5045d4b91fe0a4207d6232084bc85.png

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Once again, this is not black and white, there's the old adage that we are swimming in their domain, if we don't want to risk being killed or injured, swim somewhere else, then the "green" angle, that nothing deserverves to die, and they make a huge point of that, especially when something "cute" gets caught and makes the news, a big (say) Stingray gets caught, and it's "oh well" but, a Turtle, or even more news worthy a Whale or Dolphin, and it's headlines for a week!

 Then the other side, true, we are in the Sharks domain, drag one up on the beach and people gather round to poke it and touch it, not scarey at all, but, swimming in the water, it's a killer and you can't get away quick enough, there is an old saying "once you get in the water, you lose your spot on top of the food chain". I guess in a way, if the nets save one life, particularly if it's yours or one of your kids, then the net has done its job, right or wrong?

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Im with you noel  whites are getin caught so it shows they frequent swimming beaches   i wouldnt want a relative or someone close let alone a stranger being mauled by these apex predators

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Just a bit on the side, since the ban on catching Whites, they seem to have become much more common, and way more common close to shore, I could be wrong, but it sure seems that way.

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2 hours ago, noelm said:

Just a bit on the side, since the ban on catching Whites, they seem to have become much more common, and way more common close to shore, I could be wrong, but it sure seems that way.

Most definitely, they are now a regular sighting for us on the south coast and I believe the Port Stevens area has very large numbers of juveniles cruising the back of the surf line.  As a diver spearfisher a net is not going to help.

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One theory I heard was that the increase of whales has led to the increase in white sharks.

For myself, I reckon that:

  • sharks are an important part of the food chain and research has shown how important apex predators are in keeping a whole host of other aspects of ecosystems in balance and productive
  • the chances of being attacked by a shark are much less than car accident fatalities etcimage.png.7604e26a75f61bf1d26346c60fdb168a.png
  • skydiving and base jumping deaths are regarded as an aspect of the sport that people must consider before participating, then maybe we need to educate swimmers along the lines that there are risks when swimming in the ocean.
  • we need to protect swimmers as much as is reasonably possible including education etc. but should be researching and developing less destructive methods

Like noelm said above, people's feelings may be different if they or a loved one are lost but it often seems to me that victims of shark attacks hold no grudges against sharks, still fear and other serious issues see:

https://www.news.com.au/technology/science/animals/horror-shark-attack-and-fatality-statistics-show-how-deadly-australias-beaches-can-be/news-story/309116d58dd2336279d46cc20234ac87

Maybe it's just that primal fear of "The Beast" that gets us so worked up.

KB

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Personally I think this is total rubbish. Sure it sucks if you or a family member cop it but pretty sure that goes for any type of death really. Look how many people die at the beach via drowning but just getting people to swim between flags is a struggle, but a couple of people a year get chomped and suddenly an indiscriminate slaughter of sea life is justified? You go into the ocean and you take the risk, same as you take the risk of drowning.

On a side note, how do you get killed by lizards in Australia? That's an achievement. 

image.png.839e2fec65dee87b8f9df3a2d843f8aa.png

Cheers

Rich

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Hi All,

I was a lifesaver, Eastern Suburbs for many years. I welcomed the nets when they arrived. Try getting people out of the surf when I rang the shark bell. Thats all we had was a bell to warn people.

Cheers

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Gila lizards are highly poisonous and people mistake them for other breeds

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For a statistic to be listed as a shark attack there has to be a witness that actually sees the shark and the attack. If your swimming at a beach hear a loud splash, turn around and notice that the person 10 meteres away from you has disappeared, this is listed as drowning(accidental drowning 1920 people is it?).  Most of the guys i know that are long term comp spearos so competent in the water and around sea life ,won't go to certain spots any more due to increased numbers and aggression of  great whites . This wasn't the case 20 years ago.

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Well the shark nets do not fully cover the beach, only the top 4 metres or so and not the entire length of the beach. It's a shame to hear even more about species like black marlin being killed in the nets. 

The best way to deal with sharks in my opinion which is also being implemented by fisheries is to have tag sounders alert when a  tagged shark enters the bay of a beach. As I understand fisheries sharks smart already does this with bull sharks and also notifies when a visual of a shark is marked. This is a great system so to have a higher amount of tagged sharks would improve this even further. It is obvious that we cant tagg every shark but think about how low the chance it is to have a shark come into the beach your swimming, then to have one that so happens to be a dangerous species have a go at you, and the likely hood to be severely injured. The chances are minute so to have at least a small percentage of sharks tagged and set an alarm when the come near the beach would decrease the danger.

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The net does not float, and the numbers indicate one Marlin, hardly wiping them out,.

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On 8/10/2019 at 6:17 AM, rickmarlin62 said:

Gila lizards are highly poisonous and people mistake them for other breeds

Well there you go, guess I'll be more cautious around lizards in future...

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, James Clain said:

Well the shark nets do not fully cover the beach, only the top 4 metres or so and not the entire length of the beach. It's a shame to hear even more about species like black marlin being killed in the nets. 

The best way to deal with sharks in my opinion which is also being implemented by fisheries is to have tag sounders alert when a  tagged shark enters the bay of a beach. As I understand fisheries sharks smart already does this with bull sharks and also notifies when a visual of a shark is marked. This is a great system so to have a higher amount of tagged sharks would improve this even further. It is obvious that we cant tagg every shark but think about how low the chance it is to have a shark come into the beach your swimming, then to have one that so happens to be a dangerous species have a go at you, and the likely hood to be severely injured. The chances are minute so to have at least a small percentage of sharks tagged and set an alarm when the come near the beach would decrease the danger.

Only problem with tagging is that where it has been implemented heavily on the north and mid north coast it pretty much seems to show that large sharks are always around. Its a fun game to log on and see what the biggest gap you can find on some of these beaches is in between big sharks. It really is virtually daily readings in some areas and when you consider this only covers the % of sharks that are actually tagged then you see how common they actually are.

 

Cheers

Rich

 

Edited by Mr Squidy

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On 8/9/2019 at 4:31 PM, Mr Squidy said:

Personally I think this is total rubbish. Sure it sucks if you or a family member cop it but pretty sure that goes for any type of death really. Look how many people die at the beach via drowning but just getting people to swim between flags is a struggle, but a couple of people a year get chomped and suddenly an indiscriminate slaughter of sea life is justified? You go into the ocean and you take the risk, same as you take the risk of drowning.

On a side note, how do you get killed by lizards in Australia? That's an achievement. 

image.png.839e2fec65dee87b8f9df3a2d843f8aa.png

Cheers

Rich

Here there are Monitors and Iguana lizards that have toxins they secrete I think through a gland and then via saliva. A Monitor will bite its prey then track it for, not sure, several days till it succumbs and dies. You wont die quickly like a snake bite. You would have to be lost, far from help with no medical aid and be very unlucky to die from it though. And ultra unlucky to get bitten by one in the first place given they exit stage right when seen and disturbed. 

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On 8/14/2019 at 11:50 AM, Mr Squidy said:

Only problem with tagging is that where it has been implemented heavily on the north and mid north coast it pretty much seems to show that large sharks are always around. Its a fun game to log on and see what the biggest gap you can find on some of these beaches is in between big sharks. It really is virtually daily readings in some areas and when you consider this only covers the % of sharks that are actually tagged then you see how common they actually are.

 

Cheers

Rich

 

Actually,  yea. I can agree with that.

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Hi,

In a post above, Mr Sqidy said:

"On a side note, how do you get killed by lizards in Australia? That's an achievement. "

In today's Guardian this report of a particularly vicious lizard attack which Qld Ambulance senior operations supervisor Shane Tucker, described as having the potential to be, "life threatening"

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/aug/16/goanna-attack-dog-killed-and-queensland-couple-in-hospital-after-freak-ordeal

It's a dangerous world out there!

KB

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Posted (edited)

The difference between an attack and defence are completely different. The fact that the dog took on a lace monitor is not the reptiles fault. Then when you add two distressed humans taking sides with their beloved dog things soon escalate. We spend hours with wild lace monitors and fully respect them. 

Shark fear, croc fear and now lace monitor fear for some reason draws huge publicity but the fact 24 people ( presumed dead)  so far this year have fallen from cruise ships goes mostly unknown. Who fears cruise ships ? Yet between 2000 and 2016 270 people fell off them.

I recently bought a book for my kids called "death by coconut" which is filled with facts of things that we don't fear that are far more dangerous than sharks.

Edited by JonD

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We hand feed moitors all the time  not best foto  but this one is at mangrove dam and will take biscuits by hand

20190817_134847.jpg

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Posted (edited)
On ‎8‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 9:50 PM, Koalaboi said:

Hi,

Shark meshing is an emotive topic and worth a chat.

What is worth??

So is a single human life worth more or less than a shark or a certain number, is that the question??

Or is the question that we are in there domain so what right do we have to kill sharks to preserve human life where the danger wouldn't exist if we weren't there??

Plenty of ways to look at the subject & plenty of other related animal  story's that impact OUR way of life & this is a highly politicalised subject.

Regardless of the numbers on either side when it comes to conservation your either a green that thinks we don't deserve the right to impact any animals rights OR your on the pro human side.

Ultimately we need to have an overall balance, where sharks are concerned yes net public areas & leave the rest. 

How do we achieve it?

Well that's another question.

Its not only a subject that is sea based as either, the way feral/introduced species & pest animals are impacting the man on the land & the country is huge but again the greens will side on the animal over our existence.

FWIW if you want to talk about saving sharks then maybe look at this video & then you will see meshing has FA impact!!

Not sure how the subject turned to monitors but just think ourselves lucky we don't have Komodo's on our shores!

Not that we need another venomous killer here 😂

 

Edited by kingie chaser

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Hi,

Been an interesting conversation and thanks everyone for your perceptive and thoughtful input.

Not sure about the demonising of greens in kingie chaser's post above. We need an appropriate balance between the environment and human needs for our own survival not to mention well being. Development and conservation are not mutually exclusive but there does need to be some long term views taken into account when decisions are made rather than just considering the short term profit motive. I consider myself a green but I don't have a problem killing fish and other animals for food or conservation purposes.

Anyway, to answer kingie chaser's question "What is worth??"  (I'm assuming a chat). My post, which started the thread was, not so much about saving sharks or humans, but about whether shark meshing was that effective in protecting people, is it cost effective, is the by-catch of non target species an issue and should we really be looking at alternative methods of safeguarding swimmers?

Should we just accept that the possibility of shark attack when swimming/surfing etc (unlikely though it may be) is just a risk we should be prepared to take, like getting into a car, which is far more dangerous?

I don't know how politicised the issue is but, like I wrote above, the "fear of the beast" is a primal fear that all humans have. Here it plays out as fear of shark attack, snake bite, crocodile attack etc. If we lived in other places it may be lion, tiger or bear attack. Maybe that primal fear sees us making poor long term decisions.

KB

 

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