Shark money spread to new measures
The New South Wales Government says it will spend $16 million on new, science-based approaches to preventing shark attacks.
The Government says the money will launch a range of efforts designed to restore the confidence of beachgoers this summer.
The authorities have a long way to go, with residents and tourists up and down the iconic coastline spooked by the 13 shark attacks, including one fatality, in New South Wales this year.
Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said aerial surveillance would be ramped-up, and new technology would be rolled-out.
The Government will use drones and in-water sonar to track shark movements, and create an app to track the aquatic predators in real-time.
Another part of the strategy will see physical barriers installed along popular parts of the coast.
“The NSW coast has over 2,000 kilometres of beach line and we know that what may work in Bega may not work in Ballina,” Mr Blair said.
“Part of this trial will be to put these barriers into different beaches along the NSW coast to see how they operate.
“Once we know what they can stand, then we'll be looking to hopefully expand those into the future.”
The five-year strategy is set to become one of the world’s most robust, and was formed out of a recent a summit of experts in Sydney last month.
People have reported higher than usual shark activity along the New South Wales north coast this year.
The Minister said some new strategies would specifically target areas to restore confidence in the tourism industry.
“We heard at [the shark summit]... anecdotal evidence that people have been shying away from going into the beach. We want to bring that confidence back to those areas,” he said.
The Government has pledged to keep up consultations with scientists and other experts.
“We don't cull sharks in New South Wales,” he said.
“That's why we've gone for a look into some of the new technologies and other suites of measures we can implement and that's what this response is about. It's been led by our scientists.”