Sharks kept at bay

The City of Cockburn has received an overwhelmingly positive response to the Eco Shark Barrier trial at Coogee Beach, which ended in April.

499 people responded to the City’s survey on the Barrier, with the vast majority in support of it remaining permanently.

City’s Elected Members committed to matching any State Government contribution to the continuation at a recent council meeting.

The commitment stands for three years, matching dollar for dollar up to $75,000 per annum.

The Council accepted to begin negotiations with the WA Government and Eco Shark Barriers to continue the trial for a three year period from September 2014 to September 2017.

“This is a topic that the community feels very strongly about” said Mayor Logan Howlett.

“Council has received some very positive feedback on the barrier, from people all across Perth.”

77 percent of respondents, including those from outside the Cockburn area, said they would choose to visit Coogee Beach as opposed to a beach with no enclosure. Many had said the barrier encouraged them to return to swimming in the ocean.

“Coogee Beach has attracted more visitors this past summer as a result of the Eco-Barrier and school swimming lesson have been conducted within it.”

Over 90 percent of respondents responded in the affirmative, when asked if they believe that the barrier offered a safe swimming area, reducing the risk of shark encounters.

A large number of respondents were in favour of a similar enclosure appearing at other Perth beaches.

No negative impacts on marine life were recorded during the trial.