Trial of shark deterrents will happen this summer
THE North Coast can expect to see trials of emerging shark deterrent technology this summer, according to Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair.
Mr Blair addressed about 200 local people at Lennox Head Public School last night at the North Coast Shark Forum alongside a panel of marine experts from the Department of Primary Industries (DPI).
Marine experts discuss
Last night's forum followed a State Government-sponsored summit in Sydney last month which brought together 70 marine experts from around the world to review emerging shark deterrent technologies.
Mr Blair said the government had brought together the "best minds" to nut out the best possible technology to prevent tragic shark encounters in the future.
"There has been some criticisms we have been doing a lot of talking, well what we're doing is basing our decisions that we will be making in the very near future on the (expert) advice, and consultation with communities, and we will be trialling things this summer," he said.
"We will be trialling different methods that we have not seen in NSW this summer.
"We understand that you are hurting ... but we want to make the decisions on good information and expert advice."
Drain on resources
Mr Blair also acknowledged the "drain on resources" the repeated response to shark sightings and attacks had taken on local emergency services.
Dr Paul Butcher, of the DPI, told the summit it had been a very unusual year for bait fish schools.
"I still believe when the bait fish schools disappear the sharks will too," he said.