Shark nets installed at Umina Beach have killed 115 sharks, as well as turtles, fish and stingrays between 2013 and 2020, according to Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch.
She said the net, similar to those installed at another 50 New South Wales beaches, had killed almost 90 per cent of all marine life caught over the last seven years.
This list included endangered species such as the green turtle, leatherback turtle and grey nurse shark, she said.
“It is clear we need an alternative to shark meshing programs on the Central Coast, with 130 marine animals caught up at Umina and all but 15 of them dying,” said Ms Tesch.
“We need the NSW Government to introduce technologically advanced shark prevention, like we’ve seen in the successful drumline trial, to ensure our marine animals are protected.”
She said the drumline technique used two buoys and a satellite-linked GPS communications unit attached to a baited hook.
Sharks in the area were detected when they took the bait and placed pressure on the communications line, which alerted a drumline operator who then relocated the shark.
The drumline is also used for research.
“I’ve found it really difficult to grasp that our shark mesh has had an 88 per cent death rate at Umina Beach alone over the past seven years,” said Ms Tesch.
“It’s obvious that we need a new strategy and the drumline trial may be our solution with results already showing significant improvements compared to existing methods of bather safety.
Media release, 19 Aug 2020
Liesl Tech, Member for Gosford