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Drones join helicopters in shark surveillance

Published: 19 December 2016
Drones will look out for sharks on the North Coast and around Kiama on the South Coast.

CASA-certified pilots have begun flying drones around a 3.5-4 kilometre circuit over the ocean on the NSW coastline, with an on-board camera providing real-time vision of coastal waters.

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said recent drone trials have shown that they were an effective tool in spotting marine animals in a range of environmental conditions and that this latest trial would focus on advancing shark detection.

“Over the next 41-day trial, sharks which are posing a potential danger to swimmers and surfers will be immediately reported to police and local Surf Life Saving clubs at patrolled beaches.”

Drones and helicopters will be deployed over the summer in these locations:

Drone TrialHelicopter Surveillance
North Coast

Lennox Head
Lighthouse Beach, Ballina
Main Beach, Evans Head
Redhead Beach, Redhead

Tweed - Ballina
Wooli to South Sawtell
Nambucca Heads to Port Macquarie
Crowdy Head to Birubi

South Coast Kiama

South Wollongong to Moruya
Bega River to Twofold Bay

Other measures in place over the summer will include SMART drumlines, VR4G listening stations to identify tagged sharks, the North Coast net trial and the traditional Shark Meshing Program.

Environment Science
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