Shark drumlines to protect Sydney's swimmers and surfers

Published: 11 Feb 2019

Shark Management Alert in Real Time (SMART) drumlines will be trialled on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, as part of a trial to reduce the risk of shark attacks.

From 10 February to 12 May 2019, 20 SMART drumlines will be trialled at Palm, Whale, Avalon, Bilgola, Newport, Manly, Queenscliff, Freshwater, Curl Curl and Dee Why beaches near existing shark nets.

SMART drumlines allow the Department of Primary Industries to catch sharks humanely, tag them, and then relocate and release them away from swimmers and surfers.

The SMART drumlines will be set 500 metres offshore every morning and collected at the end of each day.

SMART drumlines have two buoys and a satellite-linked communications unit, which will be attached to a hook baited with a single mullet.

When a shark is detected, scientists and contractors will respond immediately to a SMART drumline alert to tag and release the shark away from swimmers.

The community will also be alerted instantly through the SharkSmart App and Twitter feed.

Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said NSW is leading the world in trialling this technology and has achieved some fantastic results on both the North and South Coast.

“In order to continue to learn more about shark movements and the effectiveness of this technology, we need to be testing it at some of our busiest beaches,” Mr Blair said.

“While we are confident in this new technology, we have no intention of removing any shark nets from Sydney, Wollongong or Newcastle beaches.

"This measure is to complement nets, so that we’re doing everything we can to protect beachgoers."

Learn more about the NSW Government's Shark Management Strategy

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