Sharks and You One Year On – What's Changed? Part I

21 Sep 2017 4 Share

COASTALWATCH | ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS

A lot has changed since we last surveyed you, the readers, on your opinions about this crucial surfing issue.

Between September and November last year, trying to assess public opinion on Australia’s worst ever shark attack cluster, we conducted two surveys and pulled together results from 4,596 of you. During the surveys there were a number of serious shark attacks on the NSW North Coast which affected the swing in percentages.

The central question read: “What is your answer to the shark crisis in Northern NSW?” In October, survey respondents favoured shark nets (43%). Interestingly there was just one percent between the non-threatening marine-safe alternative (26%) and the controversial shark cull option (25%). Personal shark deterrents came in last at 15%.

After the attacks and pleas for help from the local community, we re-published the survey and saw a drop in the percentage supporting the non-threatening, marine-safe option (21%) and a dramatic rise in the shark nets option (42%). This time the shark cull option moved into the second most-favoured position at 24%.

The survey clearly shows the change in behaviour and thinking after the threat to people and community was increased.

One year on, just days before the recent attack at Iluka, we ran a similar survey to see if we could gain an insight into behaviour nearly a year on. First, we asked how sharks have affected your interaction with the beach. 64% responded they are nervous about swimming/surfing but still go out. 31% said they were not concerned about sharks at all while in the ocean. 5% have dramatically altered their behaviour and don’t swim or surf because of their fear of sharks.

Here’s a staggering one: 33% of you claim to have encountered a shark in the water since 2015. There’s no comparable stat from our earlier surveys, but that’s 33% of 2,000 humans, or around 660 encounters in two years, which feels off the charts.

We repeated 2016’s question about shark mitigation. In this time the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) have run a shark nets trial in the area. The nets were removed in May due to the whale migration. In this response, a majority (32%) voted for the non-threatening marine-safe alternative followed by the shark cull at 23%, shark nets at 17% and smart drum lines and personal shark deterrents at 14%.

These most recent responses show a dramatic change in opinion on the shark nets but surprisingly only a small change in the shark cull vote, which dropped by 1% since 2016.

We’ll continue to run this survey when appropriate as long as this issue remains alive in the minds of Australian surfers.

Tags: sharks , (create Alert from these tags)

blog comments powered by Disqus
More From Shark News
Bondi Beach Closed As Big Shark Stalks Surfers

Bondi Beach Closed As Big Shark Stalks Surfers

At least one shark was stalking the Bondi lineup today.

17 15 Nov 2018
Nick Carroll On: Ballina's Turn On The Whale Carcass Merry-Go-Round

Nick Carroll On: Ballina's Turn On The Whale Carcass Merry-Go-Round

Bury it, get yelled at, then quickly dig it up — is this any way to treat a mammal?

18 11 Oct 2017
Recent

While We Wait For Waves In Bali Lets Watch This Awesome Clip From Dbah

Slater, Mortensen, Smith, Ibelli, Nichols, Callinan, Coffin, Crews, Daru, Freestone, Wright, Vasicek

23 May 2019
The Youngest Rip Curl GromSearch Winner Ever Crowned In Costa Rica

The Youngest Rip Curl GromSearch Winner Ever Crowned In Costa Rica

20 May 2019
VIP Passes to Margaret River Pro Announced

VIP Passes to Margaret River Pro Announced

17 May 2019
LIVE WEB CAST: Red Bull Cape Fear - Shipstern Bluff

LIVE WEB CAST: Red Bull Cape Fear - Shipstern Bluff

13 May 2019
Green Light: Red Bull Cape Fear Will Run on Monday at Shipstern Bluff

Green Light: Red Bull Cape Fear Will Run on Monday at Shipstern Bluff

3 9 May 2019
Latest News

While We Wait For Waves In Bali Lets Watch This Awesome Clip From Dbah

Slater, Mortensen, Smith, Ibelli, Nichols, Callinan, Coffin, Crews, Daru, Freestone, Wright, Vasicek

VIP Passes to Margaret River Pro Announced

Joe Blow at the Pro is back!

Popular This Week

Soli Bailey Emerges From A Virtually Unmakeable Barrel On The North Coast Of NSW

Sometimes when you scratch into one late you get rewarded like Sol does here.

Sean Doherty: Jalan Jalan

Corona Bali Protected Round of 16 saw a heap more big names get smoked outta there!

Is Slater Back to His Slater Best?! Julian Wilson Has an Excellent New Web Series, and Mason Ho Fights Rocks

This Week In Surfing: Ten Things From Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was May 24, 2019

Weekend Surf Forecast 24 - 26 May 2019

There's a mixed bag of good and bad around the country this weekend.

Go to Top