Sharks and shark attacks have always been bad for business, and nowhere is this more apparent than in New South Wales, Australia, where every year, beachgoers and surfers face the threat of being mauled by a hungry fish with a huge dorsal fin!
So, what are the NSW government proposing to do about it?
NSW government announces an $8 million beachgoer protection plan:
With tourism, both local and foreign, playing an enormous role in the financial stability of states like NSW, they simply can’t afford to have a fish, put them out of business. Not only that, but no government wants its citizens to face death or severe injury when enjoying themselves in the waters of NSW’s beautiful coastline.
So, to try and combat the problem, the government has come up with a plan costing $8 million, that with the use of the latest drone technology, could protect beachgoers from potential shark attacks. Below are some of the strategies key points:
- As many as 80 drones will be deployed across 34 beaches
- On the north and south coasts, there will be no further use of costly helicopter patrols
- Priority will be given to beaches deemed to be at high risk
The drones used in the strategy will be equipped with advanced technology that is capable of spotting and analysing the size and species of sharks. Drones have already been used in some areas of the state to try and mitigate the risk of shark attacks, but as the trial period recently finished, a new and more expansive strategy was composed. Technology from the previous trial will be carried over into the new strategy, and with no financial input required from local councils, there are few complaints, and most are hopeful that this will prove to be a huge success in saving the lives of innocent beachgoers.
Drone training is paramount:
Some who are already involved in the drone industry, are concerned that the volunteers who will likely be operating the drones, may not get enough training. Drones can be dangerous when in the wrong, or poorly trained hands, and the ability to manoeuvre them safely through the surf clubs, will be imperative.
Eyes in the skies put beachgoers at ease:
It can sometimes be hard to check on every person in the water from the beach, or even from the advantage of the lifeguard tower, and a person in trouble way out in the swell, may not always be spotted, either at all, or in time. With drones however, an emergency out at sea can quickly be spotted, and while the drones in the NSW government’s strategy are primarily intended for aerial shark surveillance, they could be extremely useful in detecting any number of other emergencies.
Sharks have a right to live in our oceans, there can be no doubt about that, but with so many people trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle by enjoying a range of activities on the beaches of New South Wales, something has to be done to ensure that man and fish – while they may never live in harmony – can at least be kept safely away from one another.