Shark barrier for Sorrento Beach

The City of Joondalup has voted to install a $910,000 shark barrier at Sorrento Beach.

The 660m-long and 9m-deep nylon barrier has been discussed for three years and is designed to keep sharks away from the popular beach. It will be anchored to Hillary Boat Harbour’s south wall.

The State Government agreed to contribute $200,000 towards the cost of the Eco Shark Barrier net, but the council has asked for an additional $200,000.

“The proposed enclosure would deliver a regional asset covering a significant body of water body that would make it the biggest beach enclosure in Western Australia and one of the largest in Australia,” Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard said in a statement.

Eco Shark Barrier owner and director Graig Moss said the barrier would bring peace of mind to beach-goers.

“This is a 21st century mitigation,” he said.

“You can’t beat a physical barrier between open water and yourself. It is a safety measure for people to swim 24/7, any time of the year.

“Once I did research on the nets in New South Wales that are killing everything, I knew I had to push through with this form of protection that doesn’t trap species.”

Eco Shark Barrier carried out a four-month trial of its barrier at Coogee Beach, finishing in April, 2014.

Mr Moss said the nylon material had not been tested against sharks, but he had spoken to scientists and expected sharks to come towards the net and then move on.

“The nylon, too, is the same material as a fishing line. It doesn’t really break down and affect the water,” he said.

The barrier has an interlocking system hung between a nylon float line on the water surface, and an anchored line along the sea bed, which will not affect beach activities.