Wollongong City councillor Cath Blakey will call on her fellow councillors to support a submission to NSW's shark management strategy review that will voice opposition to the use of shark nets as a risk mitigation measure.
The Department of Primary Industry figures on the shark nets, obtained by Cr Blakey, show 258 of the 447 animals caught in shark nets on Wollongong and Royal National Park beaches from 2012 to 2020 died - and 167 of these were threatened or protected species.
"They're having a terrible toll on wildlife," Cr Blakey said.
"Shark nets really give us a false sense of security," Cr Blakey said.
The five-year NSW Shark Management Strategy focused on trialling other technologies to minimise the risk of shark bites to beachgoers, including drones, SMART drumlines - which intercept sharks and allow researchers to tag them - and listening stations, which detect tagged sharks within 500 metres and send out an alert. Cr Blakey said options such as these were safer for both humans and wildlife.
Cr Blakey's proposed council submission voices support for drone and helicopter surveillance, listening stations, personal shark deterrent devices, and SMART drumlines, but opposes the use of nets.
Councillors will vote on Cr Blakey's motion on Monday, April 19.
Reported by Natalie Croxon in The Illawarra Mercury, 13 April 2021