Tracks make documentary on shark problem

ABOVE: Professional surfer Adam Melling from Lennox Head in the Tracks documentary, The Fatal Coast.
ABOVE: Professional surfer Adam Melling from Lennox Head in the Tracks documentary, The Fatal Coast. TRACKS

THE "surfers' bible", Tracks Magazine, has created a documentary on the current shark problem on the North Coast.

Alex Workman is Tracks' online editor and he has also lived in the Byron Shire for the past 10 years.

He said they created the documentary, called The Fatal Coast, to provide an "in-depth, objective insight into the current issues facing the community".

The documentary interviews surfers, Ballina mayor David Wright, research experts, helicopter pilots and many others.

Mr Workman said he was pleased the documentary had "got a bit of traction".

"We decided there was an opportunity to tell the story," he said.

"It's got the conversation going in a positive way, and that was the goal

"The consistent nature of the shark sightings has put everyone on edge ... usually it's something you just brush away.

"This is a small community

"It's sad when people lose their life or are seriously injured; it really rocks people."

Mr Workman said the debate about culling was "a really tough one".

"There are extremes in this argument - people want a cull or they don't," he said.

"My personal view is not cull the sharks, and get some research happening.

"People want some kind of affirmative action."

In the documentary, Lennox Head professional surfer Adam Melling said the spate of recent shark attacks had brought the surfing community closer together.

"I think a lot of people are really jumpy ... it's kind of bringing the surfers together a lot more, I feel," he said.

"The surfing community has always been pretty tight around here, but there's all that fear in the air and everyone's kind of looking out for each other.

"I don't know anyone who wants to go surfing by themselves these days."

Southern Cross University shark expert, Dr Danny Bucher, said there were psychological reasons for people being worried about shark attacks.

"The danger is unseen, we don't see it coming up from the depths, and the other thing is we're not used to being prey," he says on the documentary.

Topics:  lismore sharks surfing

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