Media Release

Niall Blair
Minister for Primary Industries
Minister for Lands and Water

19. December 2016

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NSW Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair today announced that drones have taken to the skies, as further shark surveillance gets underway for the school holidays.

Mr Blair said this was the fourth round of drone surveillance and will also be complemented by helicopter aerial surveillance.

“The recent drone trials have shown that they are an effective tool in spotting marine animals in a range of environmental conditions which then allows authorities to quickly alert swimmers and surfers,” Mr Blair said.

“This round of the trial will focus on advancing shark detection and comparing the efficiency and precision of pre-determined flight path routes.

“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.”

CASA-certified pilots will fly the drones around a 3.5-4 kilometre circuit over the ocean at a height of 60 metres, with an on-board camera providing real-time vision of coastal waters.

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.

Source: NSW Department of Primary Industries