Fishermen say the reef has become a magnet for mackerel, a popular dish of Great Whites.
A couple of hundred yards off the northern end of Palm Beach, just south of Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast, is a just-completed artificial reef, which was designed to stop erosion on the area’s beaches.
The reef is also very good for fishing and, momentarily, featured a pretty wild righthand slab until authorities blasted a shallow chunk of reef to remove the danger.
On Christmas Day, the beach was shut-down when two teenage surfers came in panicked saying they’d been circled by a Great White and that it had come so close they could see the markings on its dorsal fin.
Fishermen say the reef has become a magnet for mackerel, a popular dish for Great Whites.
Now, after further sightings, six drumlines have been installed two hundred yards further out to catch the Great White.
“Human life is absolutely paramount,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and said the drumlines would remain “as long as they need to.”
How do drumlines work?
It’s simple and it ain’t pretty.
A baited hook is suspended from a plastic float which is anchored to the sea bed.
If it’s a regular drumline, the shark hangs there, dying slowly, until it’s removed.
If the drumline is the so-called SMART (Shark-Management-Alert-in-Real-Time) version, a satellite-linked GPS communications unit is attached to the baited hook. When the shark takes the bait, the communication unit sends its location to the drumline operator who tags, relocates and releases the animal.
Do they work?
Yep, but they’re messy and do a lot of killing of non-lethal animals.
Fact Check’s assessment of historical shark attack figures and discussions with experts suggest that the use of traditional drum lines and shark nets do markedly reduce the incidence of shark attack when implemented on a regular and consistent basis, although this comes at a cost to marine life.
Professor Colin Buxton of the University of Tasmania has told Fact Check “the use of shark nets and drum lines is a proven way of reducing shark attack, however the public need to understand and acknowledge that this works by killing sharks”.