NSW unveils $16 million world-first shark strategy
Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair has announced an increase in aerial shark surveillance as well as trials of new technologies as part of the NSW Government’s five year $16 million shark strategy.
Mr Blair today unveiled the strategy at Sydney’s Coogee Beach and said the NSW Government would take an integrated approach to protecting beachgoers not seen anywhere else in the world.
“After considering the advice from experts attending a recent summit in Sydney and consulting with communities including the North Coast, we will take a multi-faceted approach to the issue of detecting and deterring sharks,” Mr Blair said.
“What’s more, we are proud to be the first jurisdiction anywhere in the world to adopt an integrated approach toward keeping our beaches safe.”
There will be $7.7 million set aside for trials of new technologies and aerial and coastal surveillance, including up to $3.5 million for aerial helicopter surveillance to provide early warning to bathers and assist shark tagging operations.
The NSW Government will also invest in 20, 4G listening stations. Ten stations will be positioned between Tweed Heads and Forster, with the rest to be positioned at known shark attack locations.
The data will eventually be made available to provide details of tagged shark locations via the SharkSmart app in real time.
These measures will be complemented by six barrier net trials and five ‘clever buoy’ in-water sonar technology trials. The North Coast has been identified as a priority trial site for two barrier nets.
Another $7 million will be set aside for additional research into how to keep our beaches safe from sharks in their natural environment, and the expansion of the shark tagging program currently underway on the state’s North Coast.
A further $1.3 million will be set aside to educate the community to be shark smart and build on the popular SharkSmart mobile app.
An independent report into shark technologies also recommended the adoption of smart drum lines, which will be considered in consultation with local communities.