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Seal sneaks through new shark barrier at popular Perth beach

The newly installed shark barrier at WA’s Cottesloe Beach has already been infiltrated, with a sneaky seal finding its way into the supposedly safe enclosure. Courtesy: 9 News

The newly installed shark barrier at WA’s Cottesloe Beach has already been infiltrated, with a sneaky seal finding its way into the supposedly safe enclosure.

9News cameras caught the seal in action, just hours after the barrier was installed this morning.

“I’ve seen him [the seal] go back through a gap at the end and he got through there,” one witness told 9News.

“If a seal’s in there, how is this a shark proof fence?”

Eco Shark Barrier founder and director Craig Moss said it may not be the last time we see sea life within the enclosure.

“A dolphin could swim over it, a seal could swim over it,” Moss said. “Hopefully a shark doesn’t swim over it, but obviously if it does, we’ll lower it down and shoo it out.”

The company claims the fence can do more than just deter sea predators.

“If anybody was caught in a rip, they can drift out to it, hang onto it and crawl their way back to the beach.”

Cottesloe Mayor Phil Angers said workers will be by the barrier every day for the next two weeks to address teething problems and it will be removed every winter.

“At the very least people can swim in safety, “It really comes down to saving a life, how important is that?”

The town is hoping the barrier will bring swimmers back to the iconic beach and boost business along the foreshore.

Two people have been killed in suspected shark attacks at the beach over the past two decades. Mike Franz joined the Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club in the 1970s.

“You wouldn’t be able to walk on the beach it was absolutely crowded and the atmosphere was electric,” he said.

But one councillor isn’t convinced the barrier is needed, claiming no public consultation was done ahead of the expensive project.

“It’s based, in my opinion, on an assumption of anecdotal evidence and there hasn’t been a survey or consultation,” Michael Tucak said.

The barrier contract cost more than $800,000 and will be in place for five years, while the barrier itself has an approximate 10-year lifespan.

Source: https://www.9news.com.au/national/seal-sneaks-through-new-shark-barrier-at-cottesloe-beach-wa-news/67bf40bd-cadd-4a1f-958f-d6b6592f09cd