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Positive steps for shark control measures in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve

Positive steps for shark control measures in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve

The Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation (NBRF) in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) will begin to implement several positive shark control measures in Noosa.

NBRF submitted a recommendations report to DAF’s Shark Control Program last year, following the Noosa Marine Species Protection Symposium held in May.

DAF has approved three key recommendations to proceed:

  1. Education: A targeted Noosa SharkSmart education program that focuses on local water user groups and local conditions.
  2. Drones: In partnership with Surf Life Saving Qld, Noosa Main Beach will be part of the next trial of shark-spotting drones, subject to Noosa Council approval.
  3. Alternative drumlines: Fisheries Queensland will consult with NBRF to develop an alternative traditional drumline configuration and placement that targets bull sharks with the view of trialling its effectiveness as a possible future replacement to nets.

NBRF facilitated the formation of the Noosa SharkSmart Education Program working group with the first workshop held on Friday 25 March. Representatives from the Shark Control Program, NBRF, Noosa Council, Noosa World Surfing Reserve, Surf Life Saving Queensland, Noosa Surf Life Saving Club and Surfrider Sunshine Coast will work together to develop the education program to suit local conditions.

Workshop participants discussed ways to share local knowledge and the latest scientific evidence about shark behaviours, to help keep locals and visitors safe.

Fisheries Queensland’s Senior Education Officer (Shark Control Program), Fiona Burnett said targeted education initiatives focusing on local conditions will be developed.

“The Shark Control Program team is looking forward to working with our local partners to share the latest scientific evidence about shark behaviours, and to help inform surfers about local conditions and shark risk.” said Ms Burnett.

“We also look forward to including Noosa in our program trials.”

NBRF Chair, Rowan Rafferty said the approved actions are a positive step in the right direction.

“Our beaches are a valued part of Noosa’s lifestyle and attractiveness, and this trial is an important step towards protecting both human and marine life across Noosa’s bays and beaches.

“We thank the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for including Noosa in its Shark Smart Program trial and look forward to working with local partners as we begin to roll out the initiatives,” he said.