9 Aug 2017
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) will open a stand this weekend to inform and educate the public about the 10 SMART (Shark-Management-Alert-in-Real-Time) drumlines, which are set to be deployed off beaches from Coffs Harbour and Sawtell from Monday 14 August.
DPI’s Deputy Director General – Fisheries, Dr Geoff Allan said the six month trial of SMART drumlines is part of the NSW Governments $16 million Shark Management Strategy.
“SMART drumlines are looking very promising as part of the future of shark mitigation measures in NSW as trials have shown they help to protect human life while minimising the impact on marine species,” Dr Allan said.
“They have proven to be four-times more effective than mesh nets at catching potentially dangerous target sharks on the North Coast during our six month trial earlier this year with minimal bycatch of non-target animals.
“I encourage anyone from the Coffs Harbour community to drop into our stand to hear and see first-hand how NSW is leading the world with this technology.
“Beaches from Coffs Harbour to Sawtell were chosen for the deployment of 10 SMART drumlines in close consultation with the local Council because a number of sharks have been detected in the area during the cooler months and it was the site of a previous shark interaction”
The community drop-in stand will be located near the Coffs Harbour Surf Club from 9.00am – 2.00 pm on Saturday 12 August and near the Sawtell Surf Club from 8.00 am – 1.00pm on Sunday 13 August.
SMART drumlines are deployed approximately 500 metres offshore away from swimmers and surfers to allow sharks to be intercepted beyond the surf zone.
SMART drumlines are vastly different to traditional drumlines. They alert the operators when a shark is caught, allowing rapid response including tagging, releasing and relocating the animal alive.
The NSW Government will deploy 100 SMART drumlines along the NSW North Coast to tag sharks and assist researchers to understand their movements and presence close to shore.
Further information on the NSW Government’s $16 million Shark Management Strategy is available on DPI’s website.
Media contact: Jamie Jones (02) 6391 3686