By JR on Thursday, February 16, 2012
Those responsible for this should be fed to sharks themselves
RADICAL conservationists are cutting down or slicing holes in shark nets, putting the lives of swimmers and surfers at risk.
Nets are believed to have been damaged with knives on four separate occasions and at least once, at Bondi, the vandals cut the net from its anchors, leaving it washed up at nearby Ben Buckler.
Primary Industries Department spokesman Brett Fifield said the department had investigated vandalism at Bondi, Maroubra, MacMasters Beach on the Central Coast and most recently Warriewood on the northern beaches.
"These acts of sabotage are senseless. The success of these nets speaks for itself. Slashing a hole in a net reduces their effectiveness," Mr Fifield said.
"At the end of the day it's about protecting humans with minimal impact on marine life."
Some conservationists have been waging a bitter campaign against the nets for years, claiming they are also killing large amounts of other marine life, including dolphins, whales and sea turtles.
The NSW Greens refused to condemn the attacks yesterday, with MP Cate Faehrmann saying: "Shark nets are indiscriminate killers of harmless marine life and are next to useless in preventing attacks anyway.
"The government should remove them. Given how much harmless marine life are killed in shark nets it's not surprising they have become targets in this way."
Glen "Lenny" Folkard, who survived an attack by a 3.1m bull shark while surfing at Redhead Beach four weeks ago, condemned the damaging of the nets. Mr Folkard said he wondered how the vandals would feel if there was an attack at a beach where they had damaged nets. "You can be against the nets but keep the debate on land," he said.