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Large hole in Dunsborough net enclosureLarge hole in Dunsborough net enclosureSea Shepherd would like to congratulate the WA Government under the leadership of Premier Barnett for the continued pursuit of trying to help make our beaches safer.

Many of Sea Shepherd supporters are divers, triathletes, surfers, swimmers, kite boarders and just general ocean loving people.

However in regard to the following story in the West Australian today, with the headline "Shark Nets for 22 WA beaches", this is concerning for a number of factors.

Effectiveness 

The Dunsborough net trapped and killed marine life and it also had huge holes in it, that a person or large shark could easily swim through. Nets have been in place on the east coast since 1962 and they have provided a false sense of security that has merely killed thousands of marine life like whales, dolphins, turtles and dugongs.

Many of the sharks caught are on the beach side, on their way back out to sea.

Cost 

There are much better alternatives to nets out there that don't trap and kill marine life, yet still do the job of a barrier, but are far more effective and the great news is, that they are more cost effective, which is great news for the tax payer.

For example, in the article above it states a shark proof net would cost around $325,000 for 3 years.

Now in comparison, barriers like the Eco Shark Barrier that was trailed in Coogee between December 2013 and April 2014 by the City of Cockburn, could be installed and maintained for up to one fifth of the cost, which is a huge saving to the WA taxpayer.

Sea Shepherd is urging the WA Government to rethink its strategy of using 1962 methods like nets and look towards more robust and cost effective alternatives from 2014 like barrier type solutions.

Eco Shark Barrier in place during the successful four-month trial at Coogee BeachEco Shark Barrier in place during the successful four-month trial at Coogee Beach Swimming along the Eco Shark BarrierSwimming along the Eco Shark Barrier
Net damaged at Dunsborough Net pylons, which will need regular repairs and maintenance Photo: Andy CorbeNet damaged at Dunsborough Net pylons, which will need regular repairs and maintenance Photo: Andy Corbe Dead sea bird found at top of net, this could've just drifted in at some stage however there is potential for entrapment of a diving sea bird. Photo: Andy CorbeDead sea bird found at top of net, this could've just drifted in at some stage however there is potential for entrapment of a diving sea bird. Photo: Andy Corbe
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