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
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

Watch: Best Desert Point Ever Seen

Jonathan Gubbins Scores

3 17 Oct 2018
Watch: Pumping Hossegor - Saturday, 13 October 2018

Watch: Pumping Hossegor - Saturday, 13 October 2018

15 Oct 2018
Watch: More Pumping Hossegor

Watch: More Pumping Hossegor

1 11 Oct 2018
Watch: Ehukai Looking Like Backdoor

Watch: Ehukai Looking Like Backdoor

1 10 Oct 2018
Watch: Ireland's Foreign Surfers | Made In Ireland Part 3

Watch: Ireland's Foreign Surfers | Made In Ireland Part 3

9 Oct 2018
Latest News

Watch: Best Desert Point Ever Seen

Jonathan Gubbins Scores

Watch: Pumping Hossegor - Saturday, 13 October 2018

The epic conditions comtinue in France.

Watch: More Pumping Hossegor

Meanwhile down the beach from the Quicksilver Pro France contest site ...

Watch: Ehukai Looking Like Backdoor

Hurricane Walaka sent the North Shore one of the most bizarre swells it has received in decades.

Watch: Ireland's Foreign Surfers | Made In Ireland Part 3

Meet the expats who left home to live amid the foul weather and epic waves of Ireland, and who've helped put Irish big-wave surfing on the map.

Popular This Week

The feeling of threat

What’s really going on for women in the surf?

Medina Might Win The Title This Weekend?! Plus A Tassie Core-Lord Clip, and Leroy Grannis' Epic Archives

This Week In Surfing: Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was October 19, 2018

Watch: Best Desert Point Ever Seen

Jonathan Gubbins Scores

Steph Was Six Hundredths of a Point From The Title, Ryan Callinan Has Gone Beastmode, and the Momentum Gen Doco's First Trailer

This Week In Surfing: Ten Things From Surfing & The Internet On The Week That Was October 12, 2018

Go to Top