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Clever buoy research to improve shark detection

Published: 31 October 2016

Sonar technology research to improve white shark detection and better protect beachgoers.


Following a successful eight-week trial in Bondi earlier this year, Clever Buoy shark detection technology will be trialled about 1km offshore from Hawks Nest at Port Stephens.

Clever Buoy, developed by Australian company Shark Mitigation Systems (SM8), uses sonar and sophisticated software to:

  • detect the distinctive movement patterns made by sharks
  • transmit critical information to local beach authorities
  • record information about any previously tagged sharks nearby.
  • A series of underwater cameras will also record for up to five hours each day over a period of four weeks. The collected images of the white sharks will then be compared to the data received from the Clever Buoy to visually verify shark detections.

Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair, said the NSW Government will partner with the University of Technology Sydney to conduct a collaborative research project to assess the system’s capability to detect white sharks in field conditions.

“The information gathered from this research collaboration will help us understand this advancing technology for shark species, and how we can use it to give NSW beachgoers the best available protection,” Mr Blair said.

“We’re trialling sonar, as well as other new technologies including smart drumlines, drones and listening stations, as we look to new and innovative ways to better protect swimmers.

“The way Clever Buoys are integrated into the NSW Shark Management Strategy will depend in part on the nature of the beach and conditions in each locality.”

Learn more about the NSW Shark Management Strategy

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