NSW Shark Detecting Drone Trials – Hover UAV

Hover UAV - Drone Shark Detecting Spotting Drone Trials NSW beaches

NSW Shark Detecting Drone Trials – Hover UAV

Using drone technology for shark spotting

Hover UAV will be involved in conducting a three month trial to detect sharks. Department of primary industry trials will take place over 5 beaches, including Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach, Lennox Head, Evans Head, Redhead Beach Newcastle and Kiama beach.

The trial is being conducted as part of the NSW Government shark management strategy aimed at increasing protection for bathers from shark interactions.

We will be flying a 4km circuit over the ocean at a height of 60m at a speed of 40km per hour. The attached camera on the drone will provide aerial surveillance of coastal waters and real-time vision of the area. Flights will be conducted in the morning every Thursday, Friday and Sunday until mid December 2016.

If a potentially dangerous shark is spotted, lifeguards will be advised. If the shark is close to people an air horn will be sounded.

These trials are scientifically driven, integrated strategy involving several innovative approaches to provide the most effective shark mitigation measures in NSW.

Hover UAV shark drone trials on NSW beaches

Hover UAV Kiama team conducting shark drone trials

Shark management strategy

https://www.sharksmart.nsw.gov.au/ is investment over $16 million to introduce innovative trials and fund continual projects over 5 years.

The shark management strategy includes:

  • $7.7 million for surveillance, detection and deterrents
  • $1.3 million for education and community awareness
  • $7 million funding for science and research

What other shark management strategies are there in NSW

One other method that is being trialled in NSW is the use of Smart drumlines. The state of the art technology differs greatly from traditional drumlines as they are not designed to kill the sharks.

The https://www.sharksmart.nsw.gov.au/ alert DPI scientists then respond to tag and release the shark. Currently a total of 97 White Sharks and 88 Bull Sharks have been tagged and can be detected on the listening stations. Positional information from these tags is received and transmitted by the recently installed VR4G listening stations in real time when the tagged shark is nearby.

These sharks are tracked by NSW DPI scientists, who monitor their movements to gain a better understanding of distribution patterns.

Currently the information goes straight to a satellite and is instantly sent to the public and beach authorities via Twitter and the SharkSmart App.

The SharkSmart App can be downloaded from https://www.sharksmart.nsw.gov.au/