World first in shark safety for NSW beaches

Published: 27 Sep 2016

In a world first NSW will adopt an integrated approach to beach safety by combining new technologies with increased shark surveillance as part of a five year $16 million shark strategy.

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said the plan to protect beachgoers from shark attacks was developed with industry experts and local communities.

“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.

The shark strategy plan includes:

  • $7.7 million 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.
  • 20 listening stations using 4G technology. Ten stations will be positioned between Tweed Heads and Forster, with the rest to be positioned at known shark attack locations.
  • 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.
  • $7 million for additional research into how to keep NSW beaches safe from sharks in their natural environment, and the expansion of the shark tagging program currently underway on the state’s North Coast.
  • $1.3 million to educate the community to be shark smart and build on the popular SharkSmart mobile app.

Data captured from the trials will be made available to provide details of tagged shark locations via the SharkSmart app in real time.

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