The WA government wants your advice

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

You may recall that, after much debate and hand-wringing from all parties, the WA government recently announced they'd follow the lead of NSW and start laying drumlines across the south-west.

At first it would be a twelve-month trial program, after which time the results would be assessed.

Before it begins, however, the WA government needs to know where the drumlines should be anchored and they've asked to public to have their say.

There are two options on the table:

Option 1 (see image below) proposes that twelve SMART drumlines will be deployed in four groups of three, about 500 m from shore. Drumlines are clustered around surf breaks across nine km of coastline. Clusters include The Womb, Nowheres, Umbies, Lefthanders, Noisies to the south; Cobblestones and Big Rock; South Point, Huzzawooee and North Point in Cowaramup Bay; and Guillotine, Gallows and Hangmans to the north.

In this scenario it is possible to have two additional drumlines (compared to option 2) as the grouping means they are easily accessible within the minimum response time.

Option 2  proposes that ten SMART drumlines will be deployed evenly, about 500 m from shore, across 11.5 km of coastline from Hangmans in the north to Ellensbrook in the south.

"My priority is to ensure the non-lethal SMART drumline trial is well-managed and transparent, which is why I invite the community to have their say," says Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly.

Click this link to see both options in full, and also to give your preferences for drum line locations.

Takes a minute or two tops. Get it to WA surfers. You have until the 10th of October.

Comments

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 2:05pm

Now I feel safer surfing at Rotto. May the odds be forever in your favour!

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 12:33pm

Just reading the article headline I thought it might have been advice about holding a WSL event in the NW :-)

Clivus Multrum's picture
Clivus Multrum's picture
Clivus Multrum commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 1:27pm

How does the proposed 500m from shore compare to the approach taken on the east coast? Any info on whether smart drumlines have been shown to bring GWs closer into the surf zone, and the impact of 'grouping' drumlines in this respect? Keen to give feedback but some further info from Fisheries would enable us to make more informed comment rather than a stab in the dark

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 1:32pm

"Any info on whether smart drumlines have been shown to bring GWs closer into the surf zone"

First thing I thought of too when considering the options. First impressions you'd think it'd have to be option 1, till you consider the question: will it lure them closer?

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 1:50pm

Hey Stu, I reckon it will bring them closer. Then they drag them back out to sea once caught then train them to swim toward the shore again for another go.
I really hope they get the timing right this time as the last Dumline project in Perth was done through summer? When the least amount of GWS activity is noted. Autumn to Spring is required.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 1:52pm

The trial is a year long so it'll run through each season.

Clivus Multrum's picture
Clivus Multrum's picture
Clivus Multrum commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 2:31pm

For what it's worth, my uninformed view from the limited info available is that the option 1 approach of clustering the lines (presumably with a greater concentration of baited hooks) so close to very popular spots seems the riskier option. I think I'd prefer to put tastier baits on Option 2's proposed sites north of NP and south of Guillotine where people aren't going to be surfing

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 3:45pm

Hard to tell , but sharks are around regardless. Seen some of the biggest sharks, meters from shore. I also would advise you to go with your own instincts on this topic. Relying on Government bodies to provide you with safe/shark info. Much like the people who oppose drum lines.....protest wildly for shark freedom, yet seldom swim in the ocean ........if at all?

I watched a very informative documentary on the last cull over in W.A. Don't think they ever caught G W S.

Clivus Multrum's picture
Clivus Multrum's picture
Clivus Multrum commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 5:13pm

Agreed, they're definitely around all the time. I oversimplified it by saying bring GWs in to shore. My real concern is whether a cluster of baited hooks off the back of those spots is going to increase the likelihood of an interaction. In my mind, there's a difference between them being around (pretty common) and being in the area and in the mood to eat because Fisheries whet their appetite with the scent of a few kilos of decaying meat floating just off the back

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 5:30pm

Or surfing up north of metro, and there's a nice slick of rabbit entrails on the surface from all the cray pots, yummy.

Was it 2006 when the bait bombing was going on, attack happens 2 weeks after it stops? I remember some angst at that time, pointing of fingers.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 2:01pm

doesn't seem to be any evidence here they bring them closer.

The whites were already here, right the fcuk in close , way closer than the 500m out. They were cruising the surf zone!

What does seem to happen is when whites are cruising the area they get caught on the drumlines, and when they aren't in the area they aren't attracted.

We had a flurry of whites caught on the drums last month and no sightings inshore or other unwanted encounters.

Thats just the experience here in Lennox-Ballina. It seems like they have definitely made it safer. Especially during those high risk periods when whites are around chasing salmon/whale carcasses etc etc

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 2:03pm

Thats for single drums spaced about a K apart.

Not sure if grouped drums would have more of an attractive effect.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 2:07pm

The Womb...still the biggest hiding I've ever copped in the ocean.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 2:10pm

Born again?

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 2:15pm

Haha...as in it pretty near killed me yes!

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 4:55pm

No Craig, born again a bit more like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5A5kgYIoE4

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 2:32pm

I’m picking option 1.

My reasoning is that the sharks are going to cruise the coast to locate the majority of the seals / dolphins they prey upon whether we like it or not .They need to do this to survive. Better to establish definitive no - go zones around the most heavily surfed breaks so as to convey a clear message to the sharks that they’re not welcome.

They can have the rest of the coast.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 3:12pm

Personally i think option 2 is the go as its all about 'educating ' the whites to avoid people so the more area covered the better.
As for bringing them closer na i think its the other way around cause they do a lot of hunting along the beaches.

simba

Clivus Multrum's picture
Clivus Multrum's picture
Clivus Multrum commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 3:28pm

It's a shame there isn't more cross-border cooperation on the 'education to avoid people' point you raise, Simba. It's not unreasonable to think that the cage diving ventures off the EP and South Africa are teaching GWs unwanted behaviors unfortunately

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 7:25pm

I had encounter at honey combs, chased in probably not the best place to surf alone. And I couldn't imagine sharks getting close to the shore at gallows. I only just realised umbilicals. There is Emmas too

Victory!

lampy's picture
lampy's picture
lampy commented Thursday, 13 Sep 2018 at 9:58pm

Not sure why they wouldn't do a cluster up north eg bears/yallingup area as well as a cluster at Gracetown/Ellensbrook area
It can be serviced through canal rocks boatramp and gracetown.
Gives a larger area covered and you can compare the catch between the two areas

monk's picture
monk's picture
monk commented Monday, 17 Sep 2018 at 4:46pm

I reckon the fact that the Fisheries Minister is hell-bent on closing the canal rocks boatramp would have something to do with it. But yeah I agree with you - in fact it is another good reason not to close this boatramp

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Friday, 14 Sep 2018 at 1:57pm

I hope the porpoises and gropers don't get killed in this trial.

Victory!

miklosman's picture
miklosman's picture
miklosman commented Friday, 14 Sep 2018 at 6:36pm

cowaramup bay????? ala gracetown

Chewbacca's picture
Chewbacca's picture
Chewbacca commented Friday, 14 Sep 2018 at 11:08pm

If only we could set drum lines for rednecks.

Switchfoot bob's picture
Switchfoot bob's picture
Switchfoot bob commented Saturday, 15 Sep 2018 at 2:00am

Really the government wants advice "fuc k me" no wonder I only comment when I've had a couple.

monk's picture
monk's picture
monk commented Monday, 17 Sep 2018 at 4:43pm

I had a think about this and have voted option 2. The reason being that this is how the NSW ones are done, and given that we don't really know why they are working but they appear to work - copying them as closely as possible is in my opinion the best idea. It may also stop some potential unseen adverse impacts of changing the strategy, for instance, as freeride mentioned we don't know if clustering may attract sharks. Both options have drumlins a similar distance from north point, south point, lefties and cobbles.

For what it is worth I think it is good that the government are seeking opinions and advice - better than going it alone. And that they have undertaken this trial in this weird world of shark politics. I am by no means a supporter of the way the shark issue has been handled, but am glad for this latest turn of events.

Garryh's picture
Garryh's picture
Garryh commented Tuesday, 18 Sep 2018 at 12:48pm

When it doesn't work...it can be blamed on the poll

Garryh's picture
Garryh's picture
Garryh commented Tuesday, 18 Sep 2018 at 12:48pm

When it doesn't work...it can be blamed on the poll

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