Are the Dept. of Primary Industries concealing shark sightings?
The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) – the branch of the NSW Government charged with overseeing a $16m shark strategy – is allegedly refusing to alert swimmers and surfers of nearby sharks in a bid to protect tourism. The helicopter service hired to survey beaches along the north coast of NSW, the site of a string of shark […]
The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) – the branch of the NSW Government charged with overseeing a $16m shark strategy – is allegedly refusing to alert swimmers and surfers of nearby sharks in a bid to protect tourism.
The helicopter service hired to survey beaches along the north coast of NSW, the site of a string of shark attacks and two fatalities in the past 18 months, has been told by the DPI to “remain silent” in the case of spotting sharks near surfers and swimmers, reports The Gold Coast Bulletin.
“The official spotters will only raise the alarm if they believe an attack is imminent,” reports the GCB. “The department would not clarify how it defined ‘imminent’.”
This has led locals to question whether the shark spotters have been ordered to stay silent amid fears that regular sightings will destroy the region’s tourism economy.
“Up until a few weeks ago the DPI would send us an official report every time a shark was sighted, but that has stopped with no explanation,” said Tony Anstee, founder of the Shark Report, a social media service that sends shark sighting alerts to followers. “I believe it is because they do not want to scare people away around Christmas but it means people’s lives are being put at risk.”
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