Shark drones will be activated again during these school holidays.
Shark drones will be activated again during these school holidays.

Sharks nets are gone, what now?

A GREATER number of SMART drumlines and drones could be used on the Ballina coast, if the council has its way.

Councillors have voted to write to the State Government regarding the Shark Management Strategy, in support of all remaining parts of the program.

Cr Phil Meehan put forward a notice of motion at the council's general meeting this week to support all aspects other than shark meshing.

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair last week announced shark nets would not be reinstated on the North Coast this summer.

Cr Meehan said it was important for the council to formally support the remaining aspects of the strategy, which includes SMART drumlines, tagging, drone and aerial surveillance and other efforts to mitigate the risk of shark-related incidents.

"Whilst the Shark Meshing Program had its issues... and prove to be eight times less effective in capturing target species, we've got to go with what's been effective,” Cr Meehan said.

"I don't know the science... did the meshing contribute in any way to safety?

"We don't know that.”

He said as the nets may have deterred some target sharks from the area, it should not be considered cost prohibited to increase the number of SMART drumlines to cover any potential loss of benefit.

"I'd just like to ask the (State) Government to consider increasing the number of drumlines in targeted places,” he said.

Cr Keith Williams suggested also asking for the number of drone services to increase, and this amendment was adopted.

The motion passed unanimously.