Local residents and tourists will be better protected against shark attacks this summer, with the NSW Government expanding drone coverage to two Central Coast beaches.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said the shark-spotting drones form one part of the NSW Government’s $8 million investment in world-leading shark management technologies.
“Our number one priority is keeping people at our beaches safe, and that’s why we’re deploying drones to North Entrance Beach and Avoca Beach,” Mr Crouch said.
“The NSW Government is partnering with Surf Life Saving NSW to deliver the shark-spotting drones.
“The drones will be used for search and rescue, marine animal sightings and incident support. Each drone will also be fitted with a speaker attachment for live and pre-recorded messaging to beach users.”
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said the 2020/21 NSW Shark Program is a new approach to shark management that is based on five years of scientific research into shark behaviour.
“Our world-leading research showed SMART Drumlines and drones are the most effective detection and surveillance tools, which is why the NSW Government will deploy new drones at 34 beaches across the State and maintain SMART drumlines in high-risk locations,” Mr Marshall said.
“These measures will be complemented by 21 shark detection stations along the coast as well as ongoing shark meshing on 51 beaches between Newcastle and Wollongong.
“While no government can ever fully reduce the risk of shark interactions at our beaches this new program is backed by world-leading research and will provide the best in modern protection methods to our coastal communities.”
Drone operations will commence at the beginning of the 2020/21 summer season.
For more information, go to: www.sharksmart.nsw.gov.au.