Shark nets, drumlines stripped ahead of ex-TC Owen
SHARK nets and drumlines will be stripped from Queensland beaches starting from today as regions across the state prepare for ex-tropical cyclone Owen.
Fisheries Queensland Acting Manager of the Shark Control Program Sam Fary said the nets and drumlines were being removed in preparation of rough weather as was normal practice.
"There is a small window to safely remove the equipment before the predicted severe weather impacts," Mr Fary said.
"Nets will be removed from Gold and Sunshine Coast beaches over the next two days."
Drumlines will also be removed from Woorim beach, Bribie Island today and tomorrow and will be replaced "when safe to do so".
Mr Fary said Mackay's nets and drumlines will be removed on Thursday and Friday this week.
"Townsville's drumlines will be stripped on Thursday and Friday while drumlines at Cairns and Bundaberg beaches will be stripped this Friday," he said.
"The situation will be monitored closely over the next 24-48 hours and teams are prepared to reinstall the gear if the weather conditions allow.
"Given school holidays are about to start, swimmers are advised to follow safe swimming practices, including swimming between the flags and not swimming at dusk or dawn, particularly with the shark control equipment out of action temporarily.
"In rough conditions, it's important that people take advice from the Queensland Surf Lifesaving Service as to whether they should go into the water."
Mr Fary said the Bureau of Meteorology was forecasting ex-tropical cyclone Owen to re-form tomorrow.
"The predicted path of ex-Tropical Cyclone Owen means we need to prepare now as it might move down the coast bringing high winds and large seas," Mr Fary said.
"High seas can cause some equipment to come adrift, and loose shark control equipment would be a danger to swimmers and boats so we are temporarily removing the nets for safety.
"If you do see any unsecured shark control equipment including ropes, netting or buoys, please call the Shark Control Program Hotline on 1800 806 891."