Inventor sees no barrier to success: Eco Shark Barrier

THE inventor of a popular attraction at Coogee Beach says the credibility of his design is strengthening every month.

The Eco Shark Barrier was locked in at the local beach last November after the City of Cockburn agreed to trial the barrier for three years.

The barrier was first installed between December 2013 and April 2014, and its success convinced council to pay $85,000 per year to get it back.

The extended run was also an opportunity for Kingsley inventor Craig Moss to test the design against changing weather conditions.

Besides some loose floats, and two rays being found within the barrier, it has survived its first twelve month unscathed, convincing Mr Moss it could stand up in all conditions.

“It’s been a hard slog, but I’m in pretty high spirits,” he said.

“We made some changes to the floats and strengthened the connections between the barrier and the chain.

“It’s all a learning curve but we’ve shown that if you put it in the water it will stand up all year round.

“Hopefully we can get other councils on board.”

Cockburn’s engineering and works services director Charles Sullivan said the barrier had performed well.

“There have been no adverse impacts on marine life or sediment movement associated with the barrier,” he said.

“In fact, results show that many marine animals have been observed seeking shelter along the barrier and this makes it a great location for snorkelling.

“There has also been no known incident where the barrier has caused an issue for marine craft.”

While no shark attacks have been reported at the beach, Mr Sullivan said the barrier offered piece of mind.

The Eco Shark Barrier – the story so far:

July 2013 – Cockburn Council agrees to a trial of the Eco Shark Barrier at Coogee Beach.

December 2013 – The Department of Lands approves the trial and the barrier is installed.

April 2014 – Eco Shark Barrier is pulled from the water.

May 2014 – Council agrees to negotiate with the State Government over funding for a three year trial.

June 2014 – Premier Colin Barnett tells Parliament the State Government would not co-fund the trial.

October 2014 – Cockburn council agrees to lease the barrier for three straight years, at $85,000 per annum.

November 2014 – The barrier begins its 36-month stay in the water.