NSW North Coast Shark Meshing Trial Report

Report period: 8 Jan 2017 – 7 Feb 2017

During the second month of the NSW north coast meshing trial, nets were deployed for totals of 27–31 days at five beaches and each checked between 27 and 41 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 Jan 8, 2017 and Feb 7, 2017.

Beach

Number of days nets were deployed

Number of times nets were checked

Seven Mile, Lennox Head

27

27

Sharpes, Ballina

27

27

Shelly, Ballina

27

28

Lighthouse, Ballina

27

28

Main, Evans Head

31

41

During the second month, 72 individuals across 10 species were caught in the mesh nets:

  • 56% were released
  • 44% were deceased and had tissue samples retained for analyses (Table 2).
  • of the three target shark species (White, Tiger and Bull sharks), one White Shark was caught (deceased) in the mesh net at Sharpes Beach and was retained for analysis.
Table 2. The number 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

Australian Cownose Ray

1

0

 

Loggerhead Turtle

1

0

 

Pygmy Devilray

0

1

 

Whitespotted Guitarfish

1

0

Sharpes, Ballina

Australian Cownose Ray

1

0

 

Great Hammerhead Shark

0

2

 

White Shark

0

1

 

Green Turtle

0

1

 

Pygmy Devilray

2

3

Shelly, Ballina

Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin

0

1

 

Australian Cownose Ray

3

2

 

Great Hammerhead Shark

0

1

 

Pygmy Devilray

0

1

 

Whitespotted Eagle Ray

3

0

Lighthouse, Ballina

Australian Cownose Ray

3

2

 

Great Hammerhead Shark

0

1

 

Whitespotted Eagle Ray

2

0

Main, Evans Head

Australian Cownose Ray

17

7

 

Great Hammerhead Shark

0

3

 

Loggerhead Turtle

0

1

 

Pygmy Devilray

0

1

 

Whitespotted Eagle Ray

5

1

 

Spinner Shark

1

0

Total

 

40

32