Sceptical about effectiveness of shark nets

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 February, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 February, 1994, 12:00am

I READ with interest about Maritime Mechanic Ltd (South China Morning Post, January 15) being awarded the contract for installing and maintaining nets at selected beaches in Hong Kong. With a managing director by the name of Mr Kvam, am I correct in assuming the company is not Australian or South African? If this is the case, I would like to know why, because as far as I am aware, these two countries are the world's leading authorities in shark research/beach netting.

Mr Kvam asserts that this net ''is the most practicable and able to fulfil the requirements of shark prevention'', and in the very same sentence says ''the model had not been used before''. So, how does he (or anyone else) know that they will have the desired effect of keeping sharks away.

I know for a fact that nets used elsewhere (with a much larger mesh size) trap not only sharks but a variety of marine life. So, this particular net, with its small mesh size will probably do more harm than good and if not checked at least twice a day will form a barrier of putrefying flesh as anything caught in it will die or rot - not to mention the refuse Mr Kvam so blithely maintains it will keep out of the swimming areas.