On the coast

Diving instructor Chris Dodd is no fan of baited drum lines as an anti-shark measure. Picture: Marcus Whisson d414919
Diving instructor Chris Dodd is no fan of baited drum lines as an anti-shark measure. Picture: Marcus Whisson d414919

The State Government implemented the drum lines on January 31, baited with meat and hung 1km off Perth beaches in an attempt to reduce attacks.

Diving Frontiers instructor Chris Dodd said he would think twice before taking students for dives near the lines.

‘I wouldn’t take them out there, the drum lines will be one of the things I take into consideration along with the weather and everything else,’ he said.

Mr Dodd said he didn’t believe laying drum lines along Perth beaches would save lives and attended the recent rally at Cottesloe beach.

‘I’d be a terrible instructor if I didn’t take them into consideration,’ he said. ‘That’s one of the reasons we didn’t enter the water at the rally, the whole dive section stood in ankle deep water. I said now that I can see those pink buoys out there, I’m not going to head out.’

Mr Dodd said he was frustrated after only tiger sharks were caught by the lines in their first week.

‘When was the last time someone was attacked by a tiger shark? Over 50 years ago. I’ve dived with sharks all over the world, to see sharks is good, it tells me the ocean is healthy,’ he said.

Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said shark mitigation models in Queensland showed diving activity and drum lines can coexist in close proximity.

‘There are snorkel and dive trails close to lines, which are part of measures including surveillance, research and education, to try to understand sharks and reduce the risk of attack.’