Saturday, March 18, 2006

Port Lincoln provide signs and educational information on sharks to swimmers

SWIMMERS will now be informed when entering the water at beaches around Port Lincoln that sharks sometimes share the water.

In the first positive development for a shark education and information campaign by three mothers Katrina Wright, Kaylene Dufek and Delice Sheehy, the Port Lincoln council has installed shark information signage.

Mrs Wright, Mrs Dufek and Mrs Sheehy collected 3491 signatures calling for signs on the foreshore to advise of sharks.

Three of four signs have been put up - at Axel Stenross boat ramp, the foreshore jetty and at Billy Lights Point.

Council operations manager Craig Matena said the fourth would shortly be placed somewhere near the yacht club boat ramp.

The mothers started the campaign for shark signage and education last September and are pleased to see the signs have been installed.

"We had a lot of input into them," Mrs Wright said.

The council worked with Primary Industries and Resources South Australia on the wording on the signs, including advertising the Fishwatch number 1800 065 522, the SA Police number 131 444 and information about the White Shark habitat and behaviours in South Australian waters.

The signs feature a photograph of a great white shark and warm swimmers that at certain times of the year there have been sightings of large sharks.

The mothers said the signs are not to deter swimmers from entering the water, but to help them make an informed choice.

Mrs Dufek and Mrs Wright said they were pleased with the signs and were still negotiating the emergency system.

From the start they considered it important to have an emergency system in place with local police in the case of a shark sighting in shore.

"What we wanted was to get the signs up and have a proper emergency system in place," Mrs Dufek said.


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