The NSW Government’s summer drone and helicopter surveillance programs have highlighted their effectiveness in reducing the risk of shark attacks on NSW beaches.
NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said pilots were kept busy right along the NSW coastline, with both drones and helicopters making a number of shark sightings.
“The drone trial sighted 46 potentially dangerous sharks, while our helicopter crews reported 525 - on 167 occasions, the helicopter crews notified beach authorities when a shark was in close proximity to beachgoers,” Mr Blair said.
“A total of 78 water evacuations were initiated by helicopter crews when sharks were within 100m of water users, 8 evacuations were also made by drones.
“Our pilots flew a staggering 92,929km over the holiday period and carried purpose-built radios for direct communication with beach authorities, plus a siren and PA system to communicate with those in the water.
“These eyes in the sky have really complemented our other measures under the $16m shark management strategy, which include our tagging program, net trial, SMART drumlines and VR4G listening stations.”