‘False sense of safety’: Push to remove shark nets from Australia’s most famous beach

Shark nets are ineffective and just “creating a false sense of safety” one Sydney mayor claims as she pushes for them to be removed from Bondi, Australia’s most famous beach.

Speaking to Today, Mayor of Waverley LGA Paula Masselos said there are better ways of keeping the community safe.

Should shark nets be removed from Bondi Beach?

There’s a push to remove shark nets from Bondi, Australia’s most popular beach. (Flavio Brancaleone)
Effectiveness of shark nets questioned after fatal Sydney attack.
Fifty one shark nets are installed over the NSW coastline. They’re in place September – April each year (9News)

“Shark nets are very old technology,” she said.

“They were first introduced in 1937. We’re in the 21st century now. I believe we can do much, much better.

(They) are only 150m long, six metres high and set at a depth of about 10m. They’re not there to actually create a barrier between swimmers and sharks, but they sort of help disrupt some of the swimming patterns.

“When you look at Bondi, it is actually a kilometre long. So the shark net isn’t creating a huge barrier at all.

“I think it’s actually creating a false sense of safety.”

Waverly Mayor Paula Masselos has recommended the state government remove shark nets in her LGA.
Waverly Mayor Paula Masselos has recommended the state government remove shark nets in her LGA. (Today)

Masselos believes SMART drumlines, aerial drone surveillance and “listening buoys” are much more efficient and detecting sharks and mitigating the risks of attack.

In total, 51 shark nets are installed in beaches between Newcastle and Wollongong; a 250 kilometre stretch of coast.

The nets are only in place between September to April each year.

19 vulnerable green turtles were caught in shark nets across NSW.
19 vulnerable green turtles were caught in shark nets across NSW. (Sea Shepard Australia)
Great hammerhead sharks which are critically endangered were caught and killed in NSW shark nets this year.
Great hammerhead sharks which are critically endangered were caught and killed in NSW shark nets this year. (Sea Shepard Australia)

Waverly is not the first council lobbying the state government to remove shark nets. Central Coast MP Adam Crouch wants to see his electorate become the first location in NSW to ban the nets.

The shark meshing program aims to deter three target species of shark according to the DPI; these are tiger sharks, bull sharks and great white sharks.

“They are the three sharks that are most frequently involved in serious shark bites in NSW,” it said.

Great white sharks have been responsible for all fatal NSW shark attacks for the past two years, with the state clocking the highest number of attacks in the nation over this period.

Simon Nellist was killed in a shark attack at the north end of Little Bay beach in Sydney's east.
Simon Nellist was killed in a shark attack at the north end of Little Bay beach in Sydney’s east. (Supplied)

Nellist was training for an open water ocean swim when he was mauled by a great white shark, “at least three metres” long at Little Bay.

Shark tagged off USA coast.

‘Like hooking a submarine:” 4m hammerhead tagged in USA

The animals were captured, tagged and released.

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