NSW North Coast Shark Meshing Trial Report

Report period: 8 April – 7 May 2017

During the fifth month of the NSW north coast meshing trial, nets were deployed for totals of 22–30 days at five beaches and each checked between 20 and 47 times (Table 1).  The contractors are required to check the mesh nets twice a day, but if the weather or bar conditions prevent safe access, then fewer checks are made.

Table 1: The number of days that mesh nets were deployed at each beach, and the number of times each mesh net was checked between April 8, 2017 and May 7, 2017.

Beach

Number of days net deployed

Number of time net checked

Seven Mile, Lennox Head

29

29

Sharpes, Ballina

28

27

Shelly, Ballina

22

20

Lighthouse, Ballina

23

20

Main, Evans Head

30

47

In total, 68 individuals from 13 species were caught in the mesh nets. Fifteen animals were released alive, while 53 were found dead and had tissue samples retained for analyses (Table 2).

Table 2: The numbers of each species caught in the mesh nets that were alive and released, or dead at each beach.

Beach

Species

Number alive

Number dead

Seven Mile, Lennox Head

Common Blacktip Shark

0

1

 

Dusky Whaler

1

0

 

Great Hammerhead Shark

0

1

 

Mackerel tuna

0

3

 

Pygmy Devilray

1

8*

 

Whitespotted Guitarfish

1

1

 

Unidentified tuna

0

1

Sharpes, Ballina

Australian Cownose Ray

1

0

 

Common Blacktip Shark

0

3

 

Great Hammerhead Shark

0

1

 

Greynurse Shark

0

1

 

Manta Ray

1

0

 

Pygmy Devilray

2

2

 

Whitespotted Eagle Ray

1

2

Shelly, Ballina

Common Blacktip Shark

0

1

 

Green Turtle

0

1

 

Whitespotted Guitarfish

0

1

Lighthouse, Ballina

Australian Cownose Ray

1

0

 

Mulloway

0

3

 

Pygmy Devilray

1

2

 

Whitespotted Eagle Ray

1

2

Main, Evans Head

Common Blacktip Shark

0

1

 

Great Hammerhead Shark

0

2

 

Pygmy Devilray

4

16

TOTAL

 

15

53*