Stay outta the water

Fish lovers fight shark-deterrent nets

Australia’s seasonal use of nets to protect surfers, swimmers and other water lovers from shark attacks are coming under fire from environmental groups.

The mesh barriers off the coast of New South Wales are killing vulnerable marine life, such as migrating whales, turtles and other threatened and endangered species, reported Sydney’s Voice of America.

Meanwhile, conservationists say the nets are in such disrepair that they aren’t doing much in the way of protecting anyone. Sharks routinely are caught in the beach side of the devices, which they swim over, through or around.

For the past 70 years, the nets have been put in place around this time of year—the beginning of spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Those critical of the method are asking coastal authorities to consider using electronic shark-deterrent devices, such as the type used in South Africa.