The NSW Government has committed $21.4 million to continue its effective, evidence-based shark mitigation program, with a host of successfully trialled technologies rolled out along the NSW coastline. It has also announced a boost of $4.4 million for a suite of immediate additional mitigation methods, as well as ongoing funding of more than $85 million to continue this program until 2026.

This shark program is the largest and most comprehensive in the world.

The $85.6 million 2022-2026 Shark Mitigation Program will include:

  • Scaling up Surf Life Saving NSW’s drone surveillance program to provide more beach coverage in more Local Government Area’s (LGAs);
  • Increasing coastal surveillance using tagged shark listening stations to ensure at least one in every LGA;
  • Continuing the rollout of SMART drumline technology;
  • Continuing beach meshing between Newcastle and Wollongong;
  • Funding to continue to enable Surfing NSW to provide shark mitigation support and services such as trauma kits and drones; and
  • Boosting shark tagging, research and community education programs.

See the NSW Shark Program Map  PDF, 1152.33 KB

The ongoing program is underpinned by an independent evaluation of the 2015-21 shark management programs undertaken by Cardno. The NSW Shark Management Strategy and Shark Program Review is available here. The NSW Government Response to the review is available here.

Locations of Shark Management Program assets on NSW coastline

SMART drumlines

‘SMART’ stands for Shark-Management-Alert-In-Real Time. This technology is designed to intercept sharks that come close to shore to help make our beaches safer.

SMART drumlines have proven to be the most effective tool for catching target sharks, minimising the catch of non-target animals, and maximising the survival of all animals caught on the gear.

There are currently over 300 SMART drumlines deployed daily (weather dependent) from Tweed Heads to Pambula.

Intercepting sharks that come close to shore to help make our beaches safer.

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Want to find out more?

Further information on SMART drumlines is available here.

Shark listening stations

Shark listening stations record the presence of tagged animals swimming within 500m. When a tagged target shark (being a White, Tiger or Bull shark) swims within 500m of a listening station, an alert is sent to the public via Twitter and the SharkSmart App .

In 2022, 16 additional shark listening stations were deployed. Currently there are 37 shark listening stations across NSW, with at least one in each Local Government Area (LGA).

Location

Station name

LGA

Date deployed

Kingscliff

Kingscliff Beach

Tweed

2016

Byron Bay

Clarkes Beach

Byron

2015

Lennox Head

Seven Mile Beach

Ballina

2022

Lennox Head

Lennox Point

Ballina

2016

Ballina

Sharpes Beach

Ballina

2015

Ballina

Lighthouse Beach

Ballina

2017

Evans Head

Main Beach

Richmond Valley

2016

Yamba

Main Beach

Clarence Valley

2016

Coffs Harbour

Park Beach

Coffs Harbour

2016

Mylestom

Mylestom Beach

Bellingen

2022

Nambucca Heads

Main Beach

Nambucca

2022

South West Rocks

Front Beach

Kempsey

2016

Crescent Head

Crescent Head Beach

Kempsey

2016

Port Macquarie

Lighthouse Beach

Port Macquarie

2016

Old Bar

Old Bar Beach

MidCoast

2016

Forster

Main Beach

MidCoast

2016

Hawks Nest

Bennetts Beach

MidCoast

2016

Birubi

Birubi Beach

Port Stephens

2022

Newcastle

Newcastle Beach

Newcastle

2022

Redhead

Redhead Beach

Lake Macquarie

2016

Soldiers Point

Soldiers Beach

Central Coast

2022

Avoca

Avoca Beach

Central Coast

2022

Killcare

Killcare Beach

Central Coast

2022

Sydney

Palm Beach

Northern Beaches

2022

Sydney

North Narrabeen Beach

Northern Beaches

2022

Sydney

North Steyne

Northern Beaches

2022

Sydney

Bondi Beach

Waverley

2016

Sydney

Maroubra Beach

Randwick

2022

Cronulla

Cronulla Beach

Sutherland

2022

Wollongong

Stanwell Park

Sutherland

2022

Wollongong

Wollongong Beach

Wollongong

2022

Shellharbour

Shellharbour Beach

Wollongong

2022

Kiama

Surf Beach

Kiama

2016

Sussex Inlet

Cudmirrah Beach

Shoalhaven

2016

Mollymook

Mollymook Beach

Shoalhaven

2016

Batemans Bay

Malua Bay Beach

Eurobodalla

2016

Merimbula

Main Beach

Bega Valley

2016

In 2022, the number of drone locations increased from 34 to 50 to include popular tourist destinations on the far north and far south coasts of NSW and in the Greater Sydney region.

For the first time in the Program, Surf Life Saving NSW will fly drones over the July 2022 winter school holidays at selected locations. Whilst the program has traditionally operated in the warmer months, the program has been extended to fly in what is traditionally known as the ‘out of season’ months, in order to offer increased protection at a time when many juvenile White Sharks are migrating north along the NSW coastline.

Key points of this program:

  • Every coastal LGA along the NSW coastline will have at least one UAV patrol location during the 2022/23 Surf Life Saving NSW season.
  • There are over 50 locations across the state under this NSW Government program
  • Further trials are being done looking at long-range flights and extended line of sight.

Find out more about drones/UAVs in Surf Life Saving

UAV Patrol Locations
NSW Surf Life Saving pilots

Every surfer in NSW will have access to first-aid training through Surfing NSW’s Surfers Rescue 24/7 program, while customised medical kits and training will be supplied to more than 110 NSW boardrider clubs and 55 surf schools.

A fleet of approximately 20 drones will also be used by Surfing NSW to patrol their events, in addition to our world-leading fleet of shark-spotting drones already delivered by Surf Life Saving NSW.

Keep up to date with the program through surfingnsw.com.au

See the summary