South Africa trials great white shark nets


Great white shark nets are being trialled in South Africa following five attacks on unmans in the last year.

The BBC reports the nets will be tested in South Africa's Western Cape, to protect the millions of tourists who visit the Cape Town area every year.

Great white sharks are attracted to the area by deep in-shore waters and plentiful food sources, making the area's waters some of the most dangerous in the world.

Shark-spotters are deployed to keep watch for great whites near the beaches, but there have been five fatalities in the area in the last decade.

Greg Oelofse, from the Cape Town Environmental Resource Management Team, told BBC News: "The white sharks come in really close, and inhabit the area people use for recreation. And our concern is that, particularly under certain conditions, the spotters would not be able to get people out of the water quickly enough."

Conservationists have for years campaigned against the use of nets, with around 600 sharks a year killed in other areas of South Africa after getting stuck in nets.

But thousands of pounds has been spent on developing the world's first environmentally-friendly shark barrier net, that will protect swimmers without harming the sharks.

The thin mesh nets - costing £50,000 - will be put out in the morning and removed at night, in an attempt to allow the sharks and the tourists to both enjoy the area safely.

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