Australia deploys more shark-scanning drones to prevent attacks

The number of beaches under the watch of shark-spotting drones will increase to 50 from 34.
The number of beaches under the watch of shark-spotting drones will increase to 50 from 34.PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) - The Australian state of New South Wales will deploy drones on its beaches to help prevent shark attacks in the world's largest surveillance programme of its kind.

Funding for the state's shark management initiative was almost tripled to 21.4 million Australian dollars (S$20.96 million), allowing authorities to boost measures to limit attacks, according to a statement on Sunday (Sept 19).

That includes sending a domestic fleet of drones to the state's coast this summer, and expanding listening stations and other shark-detection tools under the programme.

"There is no other jurisdiction in Australia or across the globe which has done as much testing and trialling of technology and approaches to mitigate shark interactions," the state's Deputy Premier John Barilaro said.

The number of beaches under the watch of shark-spotting drones will increase to 50 from 34.

Surf patrol guards at some of Sydney's iconic beaches have also used aerial drones to ensure social distancing during the pandemic.