‘Shark nets are not an impenetrable barrier’: Swimmers reminded to be cautious

SWIMMERS are being reminded to be cautious about the presence of sharks when at the beach this summer.

It comes after a two-metre tiger shark sent swimmers scrambling for dry land at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast on Saturday. [Read more here]

Fisheries Minister Mark Furner said while shark control equipment reduced the risk of a shark attack, it was not an impenetrable barrier.


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“It’s important that swimmers remain aware of the risks and take steps to stay safe in where sharks are a natural part of the marine environment,” Minister Furner said.

“Swimmers should carefully consider when and where they swim.

“You should avoid swimming before dawn and after dusk when sharks are most active [and] always swim at patrolled beaches and between the flags where you can be alerted or assisted if a shark is sighted.”

Swimmers are also urged to stay out of murky waters, especially near the mouths of estuaries and artificial canals and lakes where bull shark numbers increase during the summer breeding season.

Minister Furner said the Palaszczuk Government remained committed to Queensland’s Shark Control Program which aims to reduce the overall number of sharks close to the shore.

“There has been one shark fatality at a controlled beach since the program started in 1962 and human safety must continue to come first,” Mr Furner said.

Beachgoers are urged to follow the simple safety tips listed below to avoid an encounter this summer:

  • Swim or surf only at patrolled beaches and between the flags
  • Obey lifesavers’ and lifeguards’ advice, and heed all sign and safety warnings
  • Leave the water immediately if a shark is sighted
  • Do not swim or surf after dusk, at night or before dawn when sharks are most active
  • Do not swim or surf in murky waters
  • Do not swim in or near mouths of estuaries, artificial canals and lakes
  • Never swim alone
  • Never swim when bleeding
  • Do not swim near schools of fish or where fish are being cleaned
  • Do not swim near or interfere with shark control equipment
  • Do not swim with animals