Cape Town - The experimental shark exclusion net at Fish Hoek beach has been deployed between 30 and 40 times during practice runs and there have been no “by-catches” of fish or marine creatures so far.
“We’ve been trialling it since March and it’s working exceptionally well when it’s in the water,” said Gregg Oelofse, head of environmental policy and strategy for the City of Cape Town.
But the dedicated net crew from Ocean View was still on a learning curve and, because the net was so heavy and bulky, it was taking longer than hoped to get it into and out of the sea – about 1.5 hours each time, he added.
“That’s not really a viable option for us. We’re targeting about 45 minutes for deployment and an hour-and-a-bit for retrieval – that takes a bit longer because they have to lift the net up and then tie it into a sausage shape.
“We think that (amount of time) is workable so, at the moment, we’re focused on improving the efficiency of getting it in and out of the water. Although there’ve been a few glitches, we’ve figured those out and we’re very confident of getting there – I’m very happy.”