OPINION: Strategy on sharks now taking shape

IT seems the recent spate of shark attacks on the Northern Rivers has prompted some firm action.

Calls for a national shark summit or strategy seem to be finding support.

I've written about this subject in this column before and if we get a national response it would be a plus.

And it seems the state government is on the verge, or may have already announced, it is going to fund aerial shark patrols along our coastline.

This follows the death of Tadashi Nakahara and the serious attacks on Matt Lee and Craig Ison.

It's fair to say the whole issue has many people spooked on the Northern Rivers and wondering what to do.

Multiple shark sightings close to swimmers and surfers are now a daily occurrence and beaches are being routinely closed.

Although we all know that great whites and other sharks are feeding on bait fish and following the whale migration, the immediate problem doesn't seem to be going away any time soon.

So the establishment of aerial patrols and a national approach to this issue would be encouraging ahead of the busier summer months where tourists flock to our beaches.

I'd be interested to hear from local hotel, restaurant and tourism operators to see if the number of people visiting our region is down because of the recent spate of shark attacks.

Craig Ison has vowed he won't go back in the water after his attack at Evans Head.

And that is being echoed by a lot of experienced surfers who don't think it is worth the risk with the current high number of sharks about.