March 12, 2019
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Drone Shark Detection Byron Bay


NSW Department of Primary Industries Drones are unlocking secrets of the sea. Watch incredible footage of Sharks, Whales, Dolphins and Rays from Byron Bay, Lennox Head, Ballina and Evans Head as part of our research program. Shark detecting drones are being trialled as a part of the NSW Government’s $16 million Shark Management Strategy

Over the past year these NSW government drone shark detection trials have gathered some impressive statistics making the trials unprecedented in size and scope. Some of these statistics include:-

  1. 12,048 total kilometers flown by surveillance drones
  2. 3012 individual flights conducted
  3. 2008 total hours

The trial has also gathered unprecedented behavioural footage of a variety of both hazardous and non hazardous shark species. Species detected have included the White Shark, Bull Shark, Whaler Shark, Guitar Shark, Smooth Hammerhead, and Grey Nurse Sharks. This footage and data is proving invaluable to researches who are gaining a wealth of knowledge on shark behaviours. Behaviours have been observed with Sharks feeding in bait balls giving contrast to when not feeding. Observations have been also observed with hazardous sharks in close proximity to water users also giving an insight into shark behaviour. Due to these circumstances Hover UAV developed a drone shark alarm that gave the drone operator the freedom to alert water users to the presence of a hazardous shark directly from the drone.

As well as sharks a variety of fauna and marine mammals have been observed giving insights into such animals as Humpback Whales, Brydes Whales, Cow nose Rays, Eagle Rays Australian Fur Seals and Fairy Penguins just to name a few.

Surveillance methods have also been very much fine tuned with ideal altitudes and speeds developed to maximise coverage without compromising detection.

For Hover UAV it has again been a pleasure to be involved with these trials. They are truely ground breaking and forging the future of shark surveillance.

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