Second NSW North Coast Shark Meshing Trial

Report period: 1 December – 31 December 2017

During December 2017, nets were deployed for 31 fishing days1 at five beaches and each checked 18–20 times (Table 1). Contractors and trained DPI observers check the nets once every 12–48 hours—depending on weather conditions.

Table 1. The number of days that nets were deployed at each beach, and the number of times nets were checked between 1 and 31 December, 2017.
Method

Beach

Number of days net deployed

Number of times net checked

Nets

Seven Mile, Lennox Head

31

19

Sharpes, Ballina

31

19

Shelly, Ballina

31

19

Lighthouse, Ballina

31

20

Main, Evans Head

31

18

1The Management Plan for the trial defines a ‘fishing day’ as 24 hours that the nets are in the water.

During the 31 fishing days in December, a total of 36 individuals from ten species were caught in the nets (Table 2).

  • 20 (56%) were released alive.
  • 16 (44%) were deceased and retained for analyses.
  • ‘Listed Fauna’ caught in December were five Pygmy Devilrays, two Loggerhead Turtles, one Hawksbill Turtle, one Green Turtle, one Greynurse Shark and one Manta Ray.
Table 2. The numbers of each species caught in the mesh nets that were alive and released, or dead and retained at each beach.

Beach

Species

Number alive

Number dead

Seven Mile, Lennox Head

Australian Cownose Ray

3

0

 

Common Blacktip Shark

0

1

 

Pygmy Devilray

1

3

 

Whitespotted Eagle Ray

1

0

Sharpes, Ballina

Common Blacktip Shark

1

0

 

Hawksbill Turtle

0

1

 

Pygmy Devilray

0

1

 

Whitespotted Eagle Ray

1

0

Shelly, Ballina

Whitespotted Eagle Ray

1

0

Lighthouse, Ballina

Loggerhead Turtle

2

0

Main, Evans Head

Australian Cownose Ray

8

7

 

Common Blacktip Shark

0

1

 

Green Turtle

0

1

 

Greynurse Shark

1

0

 

Manta Ray

1

0

 

Spinner Shark

0

1

TOTAL

 

20

16

Since the trial began on 23 November 2017, each net has been fished for a cumulative total of 38 days, catching 54 animals from 12 species and with an overall survival of 56% (Table 3).

Table 3. The species caught in the nets and the total numbers that were alive and released, or dead and retained at each beach since the second trial began on 23 November, 2017
 Main Beach, Evans HeadLighthouse Beach, BallinaShelly Beach, BallinaSharpes Beach, BallinaSeven Mile Beach, Lennox HeadTotal
SpeciesAliveDeadAliveDeadAliveDeadAliveDeadAliveDeadAliveDead
Australian Cownose Ray

14

7

1

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

18

7

Bull Shark

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Common Blacktip Shark

0

2

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

1

3

Great Hammerhead

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

2

Green Turtle

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Greynurse Shark

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Hawksbill Turtle

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

1

Loggerhead Turtle

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

0

Manta Ray

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Pygmy Devilray

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

1

8

2

9

Spinner Shark

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Whitespotted Eagle Ray

0

0

1

0

1

0

1

0

1

0

4

0

Total16116010225113024