Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation (NBRS) have informed us on their progress in efforts regarding the trialing of alternative shark control methods in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve.

At last year’s Marine Species Protection Symposium, NBRS introduced recommendations which were reviewed by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF). The department considered their report in consultation with the Shark Control Program Scientific Working Group, alongside the feedback gained at the Symposium and provided the following advice on each of their recommendations:

1) Education: trial of targeted Education program in Noosa in line with the SharkSmart education program, that focuses on local water user groups and local conditions is supported

2) Drones: in partnership with Surf Lifesaving Qld, Noosa Main Beach will be part of the next trial of shark-spotting drones, subject to Council approval

3) SMART drumlines: are not supported at this time, however, the department will consult with NBRS to develop an alternative traditional drumline configuration and placement that targets bull sharks with the view of trialing its effectiveness as a possible future replacement to nets.

4) Seasonal removal of nets: not supported at this time

Although drones are recommended, it is important to note that the last time this was suggested, Noosa Council did not approve the operation of drones at Noosa, as advised from the Minister of Agriculture during a Question on Notice.

NBRF and DAF have committed to supporting a joint research project with University of the Sunshine Coast and Griffith University on bull shark habitat use in South East Queensland river systems with the view to providing information to support trials of alternatives in the region.