Get out of the water: Catholic Diocese of Lismore ban on surfing at beaches without shark nets

No surfing: The Catholic Diocese of Lismore has banned surfing and surf-related activities for its students.The Catholic Diocese of Lismore has placed a ban on parish schools conducting surfing and surf-related activities at beaches not protected by shark nets.
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The ban is effective immediately.

The decision to banwater-based events in open waters is a response to the threat of “shark encounters” and was outlined in a three part memo distributed to its school principalsearlier this month.

The Lismore Diocese includes Catholic schools from Port Macquarie through to the Queensland border.

The memo was issued to principals on February 1 after an independent risk assessment was conducted.

Schools can still host ocean-based events and activities, according to the memo, if:

The events are held at beaches protected with either nets or smart drumlines;Drones are used at the events; and,If no nets or smart lines are present, then the event should not proceed.John McQueenThere is no scientific study I know of people making the link between numbers of sharks and people being attacked by them.

CSIRO scientist Richard Hillary

It is estimated another 1460 adult white sharks live off ‘s south-western coast, but a total calculation is yet to be made.

Widespread publicity around shark attacks, particularly off NSW’s north coast, often prompts calls for culls, nets and other counter-measures.

But the paper’s lead researcher, CSIRO scientist Richard Hillary, said there was no documented evidence backing up a link between attacks and shark numbers.

“We did not look at the risk of shark attacks,” he told AAP.

“There is no scientific study I know of people making the link between numbers of sharks and people being attacked by them.”

Read more:

Shark wars: attacks put sharks on political agendaPort Macquarie News