Stingers make swimming at Fremantle’s beaches a challenge and for some people, a risk with nasty reactions, hospitalisations and scaring from stings. Personally, I find the little ones irritating and they make swimming unpleasant and the large ones are frightening and keep me out of the water altogether!
Fremantle council has been investigating options for a stinger net at South Beach to offer some protection from stingers. A proposal and budget request for a stinger net will be debated by Council this month (Wednesday 9 & 16 Dec) and I’m keen to hear what people think.
The council report can be found from page 6 of the council agenda here.
The net would cover a 170m section at the southern end of South Beach out as far as the groin. The fine mesh net would prevent most surface and shallow stingers from entering the area, but allow sea grass and marine life to pass underneath it, as it sits about half a metre from the sea floor.
This area is often used by school swimming classes in summer and keeping the area stinger free would be good for the kids as well as more cautious beach users. Sharks don’t keep me out of the water, but stingers do, but would it actually work?
I’ve been doing some research and it seems that the net would keep the large (less common but more troublesome) stingers out, and may keep the common 2cm stingers with 10cm tentacles.
It would also mean a physical barrier at one end of the bay that would mean people who swim laps of the would need to go around it (or do shorter laps within the enclosure).
The cost off the net is also somewhat higher than originally anticipated (now $70,000) and we need to make sure it is a worthwhile project that the community would consider desirable and good value.
What do you think?