8 April 2017 – 7 May 2017

Report period: 8 April – 7 May 2017

During the fifth month (8 April 2017 – 7 May 2017) of the NSW North Coast Shark Meshing Trial, SMART drumlines were deployed for totals of 28 and 23 days at Evans Head and Ballina-Lennox Head, respectively (Table 1). Similar to previous months, the mean number of hours that SMART drumlines were deployed at each location varied daily depending on ocean conditions (Table 1).

Sixteen (16) alerts were recorded from the SMART drumlines for this reporting period. These included three (3) White Sharks and one (1) alert with no catch at Evans Head and two (2) Bull Sharks, seven (7) White Sharks and three (3) alerts with no catch at Ballina (Table 2). One (1) White Shark at Ballina died during capture and the body was retained for necropsies. Despite the contractor being at the SMART drumline within 28 minutes of the alert, the shark severed the main buoy and the anchor line off, before swimming inshore and rolling in the remaining rope and becoming entangled.  The shark subsequently washed up on the beach directly inshore of the capture location (with the buoys and GPS attached), 56 minutes after being hooked.

Table 1. The mean number of SMART drumlines deployed each day, number of days that the SMART drumlines were deployed, the mean and range of hours SMART drumlines were deployed each day and the number of alerts between 8 April 2017 and 7 May 2017.

Location

Mean number of SMART drumlines deployed daily

Number of days deployed

Mean and range of deployment hours

(hours : minutes)

No. of alerts

Reason for alert

Evans Head

10

28

8:50 (5:51 to 10:40)

4

3 White Sharks and 1 No catch

Ballina - Lennox Head

15

23

7:01  (4:04 to 9:26)

12

2 Bull Sharks, 7 White Sharks and 3 No catch

Table 2. The location and number of sharks caught on SMART drumlines for the reporting period.

Beach

Species

Status at release

South Ballina,  Ballina

Bull Shark

Alive

Angels Beach, Ballina

Bull Shark

Alive

South Ballina, Ballina

White Shark

Alive

South Ballina, Ballina

White Shark

Dead

Main Beach, Evans Head

White Shark

Alive

South Ballina, Ballina

White Shark

Alive

Main Beach, Evans Head

White Shark

Alive

Lighthouse Beach, Ballina

White Shark

Alive

Angels Beach, Ballina

White Shark

Alive

Angels Beach, Ballina

White Shark

Alive

Main Beach, Evans Head

White Shark

Alive

South Ballina, Ballina

White Shark

Alive

Table 3. Cumulative total of species caught on SMART drumlines during each reporting month of the NSW North Coast Shark Meshing Trial.

White Shark

Tiger Shark

Grey Nurse Shark

Bull Shark

Ballina to Lennox

Evans Head

Ballina to Lennox

Evans Head

Ballina to Lennox

Evans Head

Ballina to Lennox

Evans Head

8 Dec – 7 Jan 2017

4

5

2

0

0

2

0

0

8 Jan – 7 Feb 2017

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

8 Feb – 7 Mar 2017

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

8 Mar – 7 Apr 2017

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

8 Apr – 7 May 2017

7a

3

0

0

0

0

2

0

TOTAL

15

9

2

1

0

2

2

0

a – 1 individual died