150 gather in Ballina to protest the new shark net
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 March, 2016 - Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach, the scene of three serious shark attacks in 2015 - one of them fatal, has had a new 650-meter eco-barrier installed to make the area safe to surf again. Problem is, some say it’s inside the surf zone and dangerous.
150 people gathered at a protest organised by Mark Hernage who said the locals had issues with the barrier’s impact on the surf and the fact that it could be a hazard in the lineup.
"The proposed placement of this barrier is right in the surf zone and even on different swells and conditions, is going to be inside the surf zone so surfers would become entangled in this net," he told ABC.Net.
"The proposed barrier placement that we have come up with as surfers will maximise what we have as surfers and this beautiful place to surf, but [will] also not be a hindrance or hazard to us," Mr Hernage continued.
Ballina’s mayor, David Wright said he could not understand the safety concerns about the barrier.
"It's made of fishing line as thick as your little finger, there's nothing to hurt you or grab you, there's nothing there," he said in the ABC.net article. "[As a] matter of fact, the surf club thinks it will be a rescuer.”
He added: "If another attack happens, you (the protesters) will be morally responsible and this barrier has been recommended as the best thing to protect the beach."