NSW releases shark attack proposals - ABC News
The New South Wales Government has released a number of new proposals to prevent shark attacks, as it defends itself against claims it is failing to protect swimmers after three attacks in Sydney in as many weeks.
The measures include a new shark tagging program, the use of GPS to monitor shark nets and a list of shark attacks by beach since 1900.
The Government is also considering upgrading shark fishing gear and researching shark movements, attacks and population trends to try to identify hotspots and high-risk periods.
The proposals are part of the first review of the long-standing shark net program since 1972. They also include publishing an annual report about the nets' performance.
Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald says the Government will also consult with surf lifesavers.
'The Government in the past has provided a number of jet skis to surf lifesavers that have helped them monitor and deter sharks and we'll be discussing these on Thursday,' he said.
The Opposition says the Government has not done enough to protect swimmers and surfers. It says shark nets are deteriorating, the shark fishing quota should be increased and beaches need more aerial patrols.
But Mr Macdonald says aerial patrols do not spot sharks at dawn and dusk, the high-risk periods when the three latest shark attacks occurred. He says the patrols sometimes confuse big fish with sharks.
The Minister also says only 4.2 per cent of sharks caught in the fishing quota are dangerous.
In the latest shark attack, 15-year-old Andrew Lindop was bitten on the leg while surfing with his father, a veteran lifesaver, at Sydney's Avalon Beach at dawn on Sunday.
The boy is recovering in a stable condition in hospital after being rescued by his father.
This year's first Sydney victim, elite Navy diver Paul de Gelder, lost a hand and a leg after being attacked by a bull shark at dawn off Garden Island in Sydney Harbour on February 11.
The following day, surfer Glenn Orgias was mauled by a great white shark at the southern end of Bondi Beach at dusk.
His hand was hanging off his wrist by a three-centimetre piece of skin but doctors have managed to save it in what they have described as a 'minor miracle'.
The proposals will be made open to public consultation next month.
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