One year on, DPI says shark plan is working
IT'S been just over a year since the spate of north coast sharks attacks but researchers say more data is still required before any comment can be made on environmental conditions that may have contributed.
When asked whether ocean conditions and shark numbers this year were similar to last year, a spokeswoman for the Minister of Primary Industries said technology trials were under way but it was too early to draw any conclusions.
"The technology trials as part of the NSW Government's $16 million Shark Management Strategy will be used to better understand the conditions potentially influencing near-shore shark abundance and distribution," she said.
"More data is required before any comment can be made on whether there are environmental differences between last year and this year."
The shark attack on Ballina bodyboarder Mathew Lee on July 2 was the first in a spate of three major attacks in six months and plenty more encounters and sightings.
At the time, the community was still reeling from the death of Japanese national and Ballina resident Tadashi Nakahara who lost his life in a fatal white shark attack off Shelly Beach in Ballina on February 9.
It was enough to spur the State Government into setting aside $16 million for a Shark Management Strategy that involves surveillance, detection and deterrent projects, science and research, education and community awareness programs and technology trials.
The Primary Industries spokesperson said a number of these technologies being trialled were successfully working together to detect sharks in areas including the Coffs Coast. To date, more than 80 white sharks and 88 bull sharks have been tagged off the east coast.
Detection and shark sightings are broadcast automatically via Twitter @NSWSharkSmart and also on the SharkSmart app.