Developing Noosa’s preferred trial of shark control measures in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve
Following the release of the Queensland Shark Control Program: A review of alternative approaches (the Cardno Report), the Queensland Government Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is conducting trials of non-lethal shark mitigation technologies across the State.
The objective of the Marine Species Protection Symposium was to develop a preferred trial of shark control measures in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve to submit to The Queensland Government, and to further identify potential research projects to ensure the protection of marine species in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve.
- Stage 1: A one-day symposium hosted by NBRF to identify key priority areas by marine species stakeholders, and to seek input for a prioritised list of actions to implement a marine species protection program trial in Noosa. (May 2021)
- Stage 2: NBRF collates the prioritised list of actions and draft scope for trial and circulates to stakeholders for review (June 2021)
- Stage 3: Work with government to implement recommendations of the Symposium. Seek stakeholder feedback. (September 2021)
- Stage 4: Set timeline for trial roll out. (October 2021)
- Stage 5: Trial commences. (To be determined)
The outcomes of this Symposium were:
- A report for Noosa’s preferred trial of shark control measures was submitted to The Queensland Government in July 2021.
- The State Government Shark Control Scientific Working Group as consulted on the report and made their recommendations at a meeting on 24 August 2021. The full communique can be found here: Communique 24 and 25 August 2021 | Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland (daf.qld.gov.au)
- The department has agreed to progress three of the four recommendations from the NBRF report, which include:
- a bespoke public education campaign focused on local conditions
- a trial of shark-spotting drones in collaboration with Surf Life Saving Qld, subject to Noosa Shire Council approvals
- SMART drumlines trial was not supported at this time, however a trial of alternative drumlines to better target bull sharks will be developed
- seasonal removal of nets was not supported at this time
- DAF has also committed significant funding for further research into bull shark movement and habitat use in southeast Queensland river systems led by Dr Bonnie Holmes (University of the Sunshine Coast) and Dr Johan Gustafson (Griffith University)
3 June 2020 – Sunshine Coast Daily, Big push to remove shark nets during the cooler months
20 May 2021 – Sunshine Coast News, Shark-spotting drones could play permanent role
20 May 2021 – Noosa Today, Shark Net Catch in Question
20 May 2021 – ABC Sunshine Coast, Noosa Considers New Shark Control Measures