NSW Department of Primary Industries staff and contractors roll out shark nets as part of the far north coast trial.
NSW Department of Primary Industries staff and contractors roll out shark nets as part of the far north coast trial. Courtesy of NSW Department of Pr

Calmer waters needed to redeploy nets

PREDICTIONS of wild weather for the week ahead has seen shark nets removed from North Coast beaches.

Over the weekend the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) was also forced to cancel helicopter shark surveys along with the net removals due to the severe weather.

A DPI spokeswoman said the department would continue to monitor marine weather conditions and Bureau of Meteorology forecasts.

"The NSW Government is conscious that no single or combination of open water programs can ever totally eliminate shark interactions with the community,” she said.

"The NSW government has a suite of measures in place in the region including VR4G listening stations at Lennox, Sharpes and Evans Head Beaches.

"The helicopter will be operational this weekend, weather permitting.”

While the nets are out of action the DPI confirmed other shark mitigation strategies were still in place including drones, SMART drumlines, a network of 20 VR4G listening stations, shark tagging and Cleverbuoy.

Marine warnings are still in place, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, with strong wind warnings in place for tomorrow (Tuesday, March 7) and Wednesday, March 8 for the Byron coast.

On Tuesday swells are expected to reach 2-3 metres, increasing to 2.5 to four metres during the morning.

On Wednesday the swell is forecast to reach 2.5 to 3 metres, increasing to 3-4 metres offshore

The office of the Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair, confirmed the DPI is monitoring the weather and will ensure the nets are redeployed at Evans Head and Ballina once the marine weather conditions make it safe to do so.

Dorsal - Northern NSW Shark Reports shared the following sightings over the weekend:

  • Whaler shark, Tallows Beach, Cosy Corner, March 4, 8.52am
  • Bull shark, Lighthouse Beach, Ballina, March 4, 8.51am
  • Sharpes Beach near Ballina, March 6, 07.19am