Hibiscus Coast set net monitoring over

There will be no monitoring of set net activity on the Hibiscus Coast this summer – instead Auckland Council is relying on the public to keep a watch on our beaches.

Last summer set net activity at Hatfields Beach and Matakatia was monitored by Council to gather information regarding public safety.

Set netting, which entails placing nets in the water with anchors or weights and surface floats, is a legal activity, but can cause safety issues for other beach users, including swimmers and boaties.

Under the Public Safety & Nuisance bylaw Council can impose restrictions on the practice, where evidence exists of a threat to public safety and/or nuisance.

Last summer, during the monitoring period, Council received nine complaints to a dedicated email address about set netters at Matakatia and four related to Hatfields Beach.

Council’s Bylaws and Compliance manager, Max Wilde, says that this year Council will simply respond to complaints received via its call centre, and also undertake random patrols.

He says this is because there have been no issues caused by set netters.

Locally, there is a ban on the practice in place at Arkles Bay, from Labour Day to the end of Easter. The prohibited area extends 200m offshore. Set netting is also banned at Te Haruhi Bay in Shakespear Regional Park, and at Army Bay, from December 20 to March 31 (again, the ban extends 200m offshore). Set netting is permitted at Okoromai Bay.

Anyone observing any issues with set netting over summer should phone Council’s toll free, 24-hour, seven-day-a-week call centre, 09 301 0101.