Wollongong City councillors have thrown their support behind a call to replace shark nets with other measures that would mitigate the risk of bites without the deleterious impacts on marine wildlife.
Cr Cath Blakey moved a motion at Monday's meeting that the council make a submission to a review into the NSW shark management strategy, in which it would oppose the use of nets in favour of drone and helicopter surveillance, listening stations, personal shark deterrent devices, and SMART drumlines.
The motion was passed unanimously.
Marine scientist Jeremy Day addressed councillors on Monday night in support of the motion, saying there was a "crucial need" to protect apex predators like sharks.
He said he supported the use of SMART drumlines, which also contributed to research.
The council's move was celebrated by the Animal Justice Party, which called on the NSW government to remove shark nets.
"The Illawarra community will not tolerate the use of these so-called 'walls of death' any longer," regional group leader Julie Power said.
Figures obtained by Cr Blakey showed 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.