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Shark control equipment sabotage puts lives in danger

SOMEONE appears to be deliberately sabotaging Sunshine Coast shark control equipment and putting lives at risk.

Six drum lines along Noosa and Yaroomba were removed between routine checks on Saturday and Monday morning.

An additional five were tampered with near Bribie Island.

It is unclear if the offences were related.

It is the second time this year shark control equipment has been damaged on the Sunshine Coast.

A Fisheries Queensland spokeswoman said there was also "interference" of the nets and drum lines on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts in January.

"With high numbers of swimmers at Queensland beaches, along with an increased number of shark sightings, the removal of drum lines is very concerning," she said.

Shark net contractors check nets.
Shark net contractors check nets. Craig Warhurst

A total of seven sharks have been caught in the shark control equipment on the Sunshine Coast since January 1, three of which were over two metres in length.

"It appears that someone, or a number of people, have purposely removed or interfered with eleven drum lines at the Sunshine Coast and Bribie Island showing a complete disregard for swimmer safety," the spokeswoman said.

"Baited hooks are an important part of the government's shark control program and if there is a shark in the area its senses are focused on the baited hook and not swimmers. Any tampering compromises the effectiveness of the program and increases the risk of shark attack."

The equipment was being replaced yesterday

Anyone who sees any interference with the gear should call the 24-hour Shark hotline on 1800 806 891. Interference with shark control equipment carries an on-the-spot fine of $1178 and a maximum fine of $55,000.

Topics:  drum lines sabotage shark nets sharks sunshine coast


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