Shark protection gear is being removed from Sunshine Coast beaches ahead of a cyclone.
Shark protection gear is being removed from Sunshine Coast beaches ahead of a cyclone. FILE

Shark gear removed from beaches

WITH wild weather predicted to lash Queensland’s coastline over the next week, shark control equipment will be removed from Gold and Sunshine coast beaches starting today.

Fisheries Queensland Shark Control Program manager Tony Ham said gear can come adrift in adverse weather and was being removed so it would not become another potential hazard in the water.

“Gear that is loose in the water can be very dangerous especially if someone becomes entangled,” Mr Ham said.

“While every effort is made to anchor the gear, high seas caused by strong winds can set some gear adrift.

“We need to take the gear out before conditions become too treacherous for our contractors to be on the water.

“Over the next 7 days, shark contractors at the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Rainbow Beach will remove the nets as well as buoys, hooks and traces from the drumlines.”

Mr Ham said some control equipment had already come loose due to the rough conditions over the weekend.

“Swimmers and surfers are being urged to steer clear of any shark control equipment that may have already come adrift especially in the surf zone,” Mr Ham said.

“Those who choose to swim should do so only at patrolled beaches that are open for swimming and where lifesavers and lifeguards are on the lookout for dangers such as shark control gear in the water.

“Beach goers are also reminded to take extra caution in the water, as the recent rain falls may increase the movement of bull sharks in and out of rivers, creeks and canals along the Queensland coastline.”

Mr Ham said that as soon as the weather eased, all of the equipment would be checked, repaired if necessary, and reinstated.

"If people see shark control gear including ropes, netting or buoys which has come loose, they need to phone the Shark Hotline on 1800 806 891, so that the area can be signed for safety until the equipment can be retrieved.

“We would also strongly encourage people to follow lifesaving services warnings about staying out of the water while conditions are still treacherous.”

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