The Queensland Government says its new safety exclusion zone around shark control equipment has proven a successful deterrent since its introduction last year.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said heavy fines for people interfering with shark control gear were introduced, and he was pleased Queenslanders had listened to the important safety messages.
“There are tens of thousands of people who enjoy Queensland’s magnificent beaches every day and they have shown great respect for the new safety rules around shark control equipment,” Mr Furner said. “Most people have done the right thing and kept well clear of the equipment, with no fines issued for the new offence and so far only one official caution deemed necessary by Fisheries officers.”
Mr Furner said the Queensland Government established a 20 metre exclusion zone around shark control equipment in 2019 – one of several changes to the Fisheries Act.
“Human life will always be the Queensland Government’s top priority for the shark control program. We place great importance on maintaining the safety of swimmers at our beaches,” he said. “Shark control equipment is dangerous and anyone interfering with it runs the risk of becoming entangled or injured.”
Mr Furner reminded people it is an offence to enter the 20 metre exclusion zone around shark nets and drumlines for the safety of people as well as marine animals. “Failing to stay the required distance from shark control equipment can incur an on-the-spot fine of $533 and a maximum fine of $26,690,” Mr Furner said.