New South Wales Refuses To Cull Sharks In New $16M Coastline Strategy

It’s been a big 48 hours for sharks in Australia. 

First, the New South Wales government pledged $16M in funding to restore the confidence of beach-goers along the North Coast after a spate of shark attacks.

162 sharks were killed in a cull off Western Australia in 2014 after a similar run of shark attacks, but Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair says “we don’t cull sharks in New South Wales.”

“We’ve gone for a look into some of the new technologies and other suites of measures we can implement and that’s what this response is about,” Blair said, referencing a conference last month which drew shark experts from around the world. 
Among the suggested measures: drones and sonar to keep track of sharks, and physical barriers along sections of the coast.

“We are leading the world in New South Wales when it comes to how we interact with sharks and how we’ve utilised a range of technologies to reduce that risk for our beachgoers.”

Of course, the best shark deterrent in Australia might just be Mick Fanning. The pro surfer, who had a little punch-on with a shark earlier this year, was announced as the first male cover model for ELLE Australia, but it’s an honour that has the 3-time world champ says he was nervous about accepting. (Again: this dude literally punched a shark.)

“I was shitting myself, to tell you the truth… I’m used to shooting wetsuits and boardies and stuff, but next to Jess (Hart) with no shirt on and this white skin? I was worried the glare might damage her eyes.”

The mag hits stands tomorrow. Eye damage is not expected.

Story via ABC/News Corp.
Image: Tony Feder via Getty.