The Eco Shark Barrier, which was successfully trialled at Coogee Beach in Cockburn last summer, could be installed for three years and also trialled in Rockingham, provided the two Cities secure funding from the State Government.
Sea Shepherd Australian managing director Jeff Hansen said it was encouraging that local governments were interested in playing a role in shark migration strategies. The Eco Shark Barrier was a ‘no brainer’ in offering a secure environment for beach-goers.
‘Drum lines and nets offer a false sense of security and kill precious marine life, that’s why we support alternatives that actually work and keep families safe,’ he said.
‘For less than one week’s pay of the contractor in the South-West killing sharks you can have an Eco Shark Barrier here for a whole year; it’s a no-brainer.’
City of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said public feedback from the summer trial had been ‘brilliant’ and that the City was awaiting news on funding from Minister for Fisheries Ken Baston after recently approving an extension to use the barrier for three more years.
‘It’s a brilliant concept, has been well supported and the feedback from the community was to retain (the barrier) as a permanent fixture and not just in summer,’ he said.
‘The City of Cockburn is willing to co-share the cost along with State funding for three years to get a greater understanding of the product.’
South Metropolitan MLC Phil Edman, an avid diver and underwater photographer and lone voice in the WA Liberal Party opposed to the use of drum lines, also backed the use of the barriers.
‘We have to be careful about drum lines because they offer a false sense of security to the people of WA,’ he said.
‘If we want security we need something like this on our beaches.
‘I’m probably the only Liberal Member of Parliament who has been up close and personal with a great white shark in the water, and it’s not our world; you can’t make everything safe but you can limit the risk by having Eco Shark Barriers in the water.’