200 people at Ballina meeting vote for “controlled management or culling”
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 12 August, 2015 - Roughly 200 locals, including Ballina mayor David Wright, local business, surfers, fishermen and police met in Lennox Head to discuss the recent shark attacks and sightings in the region. Of the surfers who attended the meeting, many want a partial shark cull.
Ballina Shire Mayor David Wright told the AAP that the spike in shark sightings and attacks had kept people out of the water and away from the holiday destination.
“A lot of people have dry wetsuits hanging up at home,” he said, adding that although he did not support a shark cull, a short-term solution must be found.
In a statement the DPIL said "the position of the Department of Primary Industries, Lands and Water is unchanged: there are no plans to introduce shark culls."
North coast surfer Peter Morrison told AAP that the amount of reported shark activity had kept him out of the water. “I have always been against culling and I still believe there has to be a scientific way they can be deterred, but right now there doesn’t seem to be any other option,” Mr Morrison said.
The push from surfers in northern NSW for a shark cull has sparked an angry response from an animal rights group. A community group No NSW Shark Cull says it's 'unacceptable to cull animals that are threatened with extinction'.
'We do not have to choose between public safety and protecting marine life, we can easily do both,' the animal rights group said in a statement.
Helicopter patrols over the past fortnight have spotted several sharks about 50 metres from surfers.