THE dozens of swimmers seeking relief from the current heatwave at Narooma’s swimming enclosure are mostly blissfully unaware of what lurks just feet away.
The enclosure at the Bar Beach break wall, known as the “shark net”, is ringed by a large mesh net harbouring a whole ecosystem of life clinging to it, from seahorses to an octopus hanging out in a broken buoy.
There are large schools of blackfish grazing on the net, flocks of little goatfish scouring the bottom, the odd big bream and whiting, safe from fishermen while in the net.
It’s a snorkelers’ paradise – you just need to don a mask and get down there.
The Eurobodalla Shire Council, Batemans Marine Park and Nature Coast Marine Group have just teamed up to deliver a series of workshops and discovery walks and dives on Narooma’s Wagonga Inlet and elsewhere.
The “shark net” is however seen as safe place to swim, and not just because of the calm waters inside Narooma’s legendary bar crossing, but also because of the psychological benefits of swimming inside a net.
While the net is not like the big city gill nets that actually trap and kill sharks and even whales, there has been incidents of sharks inside the net and even big fish such as mulloway.
Residents, including one in a letter last week, have pointed out the net is sagging a bit and they believed it should be fully repaired and cleaned.
This however unfortunately for the all the life attached entails pulling out the entire structure.
The sea life has a bit of reprieve as Eurobodalla Shire Council says this won’t happen until after Easter.
“The shark net was repaired in December just before Christmas when temporary floatation devices were added…these will be replaced when the net is removed for cleaning when the swimming season has finished after Easter,” a council spokesperson said.
Not too much other shark news to report other than from avid reader of the Narooma News fishing column Marco Bass from Melbourne who is holidaying in Bermagui.
He informed us that while surf fishing at the top of the tide at the mouth of Wallaga Lake at high tide on Saturday evening, he saw two surfers going out.
“They came back quick smart having seen a 7ft whaler patrolling up and down the entrance almost in the wash,” he wrote. “No big deal but the Noahs are still around!”