Shark Barrier trial set to start at Lennox Head

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A shark barrier planned for tLennox Head should be in place by the weekend.

The first section of the barrier was dragged into the ocean at Lennox Head today and will eventually protect a 150-metre stretch of Seven Mile Beach, and extend about 250 metres out to sea.

The plan was approved in the wake of last year’s spate of shark attacks in the area.

The grid of 38-centimetre squares is designed to keep out large predators, while allowing smaller marine life to swim through.

The technology has been trialled in Western Australia, but never on a beach exposed to rough conditions.

The president of the Lennox Head Surf Lifesaving Club, Geoff Harris, said shark fears saw club membership drop by 30% last year.

He said he supported the trial, but could not guarantee the red-and-yellow flags erected by club members over summer would always be in the enclosed area.

“It can be a fairly dangerous stretch of beach,” Mr Harris said.

“It gets a strong sweep either north or south along it at different times.

“Where the net is will be interesting, it’s going to be a whole new ball game for us.

“We’re going to have to rethink how we do our patrols.

“We may not necessarily be able to put them in the net sometimes, if it’s too dangerous.”

Mr Harris said there were also concerns about the possibility of swimmers being swept up against the barrier.

“There is a concern for that, but how dangerous it will be [we don’t know],” he said.

“They shouldn’t get trapped in the net as it is, but we don’t know.”

A similar project planned for nearby Lighthouse Beach at Ballina was scrapped earlier this month due to consistent rough conditions and safety concerns.
Source: ABC

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