Boardriders say shark nets are best to protect us

ONE of Australia's premier boardriding clubs has called for shark nets on North Coast beaches.

Neil Cameron, a life member and current vice president of the Byron Bay Boardriders, said the "general consensus" of members was that they wanted nets.

It comes after reports that two dogs have been eaten by sharks at Suffolk Park and Brunswick Heads in recent weeks.

Mr Cameron said the owner of one of the dogs was "absolutely devastated".

"They could make a Jaws movie around here, that's how bad it's getting. Everyone is scared," he said.

"But at the moment we're just beating around the bush.

"Nets will solve the problem ... there are no shark attacks on the Gold Coast, where they have nets.

"I can't see why the State Government won't net this area.

"I have been a surfer for 45 years; I'm in the water every day. Human life is more important than marine life.

"It's time the government stepped in and netted this area, and that's the general consensus within our club - we want something done and we know nets are effective."

Mr Cameron said the current shark situation was now so bad that even committed surfers were rethinking their options.

He also said the impact on tourism and business in Byron Bay was "very real".

"Business owners are reluctant to speak out because they don't want to be targeted," he said.

"But our town relies on people getting in the water.

"The people of this town and our visitors deserve to be protected.

"No-one wants to see their son, father, daughter mauled by a shark ... surfers who go surfing every day, we do it because we love it, but we are now wondering if we'll be next.

"So it's time - we don't want any half-hearted efforts."