New shark barrier touted for Cottesloe

Craig Moss reckons he has an eco-friendly shark barrier for Cottesloe.
Craig Moss reckons he has an eco-friendly shark barrier for Cottesloe.

‘It would keep a lot of people safe and happy, and I spoke to about 500 people at Coogee who said they were sure there was no chance a shark could swim through it,’ Eco Shark Barrier inventor Craig Moss (43) said.

Mr Moss, a Kingsley stonemason, borrowed $750,000 and spent two years developing the barrier with a 10-year life comprising 2.1m-wide sections of nylon to any depth suspended from floats when not stored in a sea container.

He estimated a Cottesloe barrier could cost about $180,000, but was unsure how it would be considered with the proposed Cottesloe Groyne rock pool.

‘We’ve had plenty of interest from South Australia and Queensland, but nothing is locked in,’ Mr Moss said, after the 300m by 75m Coogee barrier was put in storage recently.

A Department of Premier and Cabinet spokesman said Mr Moss withdrew from possible Government funding when he partnered with Cockburn Council.

The spokesman said the Government installed a $165,000 shark enclosure in Dunsborough in January for a two-month trial, prompting Premier Colin Barnett to say similar facilities at other popular beaches would be considered where conditions were suitable.

Last week, the Perth-based maker of an Eco Barrier alternative briefed Cottesloe Council staff on their product, before an expected report to councillors.

Cottesloe-based cull opponent Sea Shepherd supports barriers and director Jeff Hansen said protest strategy and shark reviving techniques were being investigated if culling of protected great white, tiger and bull sharks was extended for three more summers.

Asked if interfering with cull patrols and removing the hooks 1km offshore would be part of a protest, he said methods depended on the ‘legality and tactics’ of the State Government.

It is expected the Federal Government will announce this week if the cull’s extension needs a full environmental assessment, after the trial caught none of the great whites linked to a spate of attacks.

A spokesman for Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the extension could have conditions, including great whites being killed as a last resort and barriers needed at beaches, but there would be no more ministerial exemptions allowing a cull without an assessment. Visit www.ecosharkbarrier.com.au.