Shark control protection equipment is being removed from beaches along Queensland’s Sunshine Coast due to forecast rough weather.
Fisheries Queensland Shark Control Program Manager Michael Mikitis said removing the equipment was normal practice when rough weather was predicted.
“There is a small window to safely remove the equipment before the predicted severe weather impacts,” Mr Mikitis said.
“Nets and drumlines will be removed from Rainbow Beach to Caloundra and North Stradbroke Island beaches over the next two days.
“The situation will be monitored closely over the next 48 hours and teams are prepared to re-install the gear if the weather conditions allow.
“At this stage, shark control equipment on the Gold Coast will not be removed from the water, however we will keep a close eye on the weather and respond accordingly if necessary.”
Mr Mikitis said temporarily removing the equipment was also a public safety issue.
“High seas can cause some equipment to come adrift and loose shark control equipment can be a danger to swimmers and boats,” Mr Mikitis said.
“Anyone who sees any unsecured shark control equipment including ropes, netting or buoys, should call the Shark Control Program Hotline on 1800 806 891.
“Swimmers are also advised to follow safe swimming practices, including swimming between the flags and not swimming at dusk or dawn, particularly with the shark control equipment out of action temporarily.
“In rough conditions, it’s important that people take advice from the Queensland Surf Lifesaving Service as to whether they should go into the water.”
SharkSmart swimming practices:
- Swim between the flags at patrolled beaches.
- Swim, surf, snorkel or dive with a mate.
- Don’t swim at dawn or dusk when sharks are more active.
- Don’t swim in murky water, anchorages, estuary mouths or canals.
- Don’t throw food scraps overboard.
- Don’t swim/surf near or interfere with shark control equipment.
- Don’t swim near schools of fish or where fish are being cleaned.
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Source: QLD Government