Nets catch sharks off Tannum, but should they stay?

DRUM lines and shark nets have captured more than 370 sharks off Tannum Sands since 2008.

The controversial shark baits have operated in Queensland waters since 1962 but conservationists maintain there is no evidence they keep people safe.

>> Marine group says shark kills are unjustified

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries data shows 10 sharks were caught from January to March 2015 off Tannum Sands: five blacktip reef whalers, four bull sharks and one tiger shark.

From the 2008-09 season to summer 2015, 375 sharks were caught on drum lines, peaking in the 2011-12 year when 85 were caught.

The use of drum lines - secured floating drums with long baited lines and hooks - was abandoned in Western Australia after the state's environmental protection authority said the impact on the protected great white shark population couldn't be foreseen.

But a Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries spokesman said the government prioritised the safety of people and constantly reviewed the use and location of drum lines.

"The program uses drum lines to reduce the number of dangerous sharks in an area, thus making it a safer place to swim. The program is constantly being reviewed to ensure that it remains as effective and efficient as possible," the spokesman said.

"Drum lines, as opposed to nets, are used to target certain species of shark that are attracted to a particular source of food, such as tiger sharks."

The spokesman said while the government had invested in researching other ways to minimise shark attacks, "no new practical or cost-effective shark-proofing technologies have been developed".

Predator or prey?

Caught off Tannum Sands (summer 2015)

  • Blacktip reef whaler - 5
  • Bull shark - 4
  • Tiger shark - 1