'Shark attack reputation costing us millions'

Great white sharks have been responsible for two fatal attacks on North Coast beaches in recent years.
Great white sharks have been responsible for two fatal attacks on North Coast beaches in recent years. Contributed

SHARK Shield, the manufacturers of an electrical shark deterrent is urging governments to implement the "innovative" technology in Australia's oceans.

Shark Shield CEO, Lindsay Lyon, addressed the Committee at the Senate Inquiry into Shark Mitigation and Deterrent Measures.

Mr Lyon questioned why Australian governments have not moved forward with Shark Shield to implement its new Ocean Guardian beach barrier solution.

"We are amazed... as to why there has been no interest in commissioning a pilot or test site for Ocean Guardian," Mr Lyon said.

"It is based on scientifically proven deterrent technology that has been on the market for twenty years.

"If our brand as the global shark attack capital of the world affected only 1% of the tourism, the Australian economy is losing $475,000,000 of income annually as a result. This excludes how the world views our environmental track record on managing and / or destroying our oceans," said Lyon.

Shark Shield is seeking the government to move forward with placing an order to implement its new Ocean Guardian beach barrier solution, which has the ability to deter sharks at up to 50 metres (100-metre diameter).

"At this point in time we are not progressing with solutions for the beach barrier community protection, as there clearly appears to be no commercial interest in a solution to protect beaches and the environment," he said at the hearing.

Last week, Shark Shield products were also used on the jet skis at the surfing competition in South Africa, which retrieved Mick Fanning from the water.

"We would hope that both State and Federal Governments would be interested in implementing this solution yesterday," Mr Lyon said.

"We have this opportunity of re-branding Australia as having the safest beaches in the world."

Topics:  northern rivers environment shark mitigation technology

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