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Byron Bay beaches reopen after shark bite

AAP logoAAP 24/10/2016

All beaches in the Byron Bay area on the NSW north coast have re-opened 24 hours after a surfer was attacked.

Jade Fitzpatrick, 36, escaped with three puncture wounds to his upper thigh when his surfboard bore the brunt of the attack off a beach between Suffolk Park and Broken Head on Monday.

Following the attack, the state government announced it would fast-track a six-month trial of shark nets on the NSW north coast despite strong opposition from some locals.

However, Byron Shire Council opposes the trial because of concerns about harm to local marine life and has instead called for better spotting programs.

Mr Fitzpatrick opposes nets.

"It is going to kill dolphins and whales and lots of marine life that we rely on for two rhythm and a healthy ecosystem," he told Seven Network on Tuesday.

Others favour targeted shark culls or awareness programs over netting.

The shark that attacked Mr Fitzpatrick was a great white almost three metres in length.

A number of great whites have been detected along the coast in the past week chasing fish and dolphins.

The third attack in northern NSW in month prompted NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair to promise new laws to install the nets before the summer school holidays.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has warned the frequency of shark attacks in the region will deter tourists.

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