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

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The NSW Government has committed $21.4 million in 2021/22 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.

This funding supports the expansion of DPI's effective, evidence-based shark program in 2021/22 and beyond, including:

  • Scaling up Surf Life Saving NSW’s drone surveillance program to provide more beach coverage in more Local Government Area’s (LGA’s);
  • 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 2021/22 Map (PDF, 1225.71 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.

Roll out of additional 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.

The NSW Shark Management Program 2021/22 is rolling out SMART drumlines into nearly every coastal Local Government Area (LGA). When fully operational, there will be over 300 SMART drumlines deployed daily (weather dependent) from Tweed to Bega.

Want to find out more?

Further information on SMART drumlines is available here.

Roll out of additional shark listening stations

Shark listening stations record the presence of tagged animals swimming within 500 metres.  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 .

The NSW Shark Management Program 2021/22 is rolling out 16 additional shark listening stations.  When completed, there will be 37 shark listening stations across NSW, with at least one listening out in each LGA.

Location

Station name

Date deployed

Kingscliff

Kingscliff Beach

2016

Byron Bay

Clarkes Beach

2015

Lennox Head

Lennox Point

2016

Ballina

Sharpes Beach

2015

Ballina

Lighthouse Beach

2017

Evans Head

Main Beach

2016

Yamba

Main Beach

2016

Coffs Harbour

Park Beach

2016

South West Rocks

Front Beach

2016

Crescent Head

Crescent Head Beach

2016

Port Macquarie

Lighthouse Beach

2016

Old Bar

Old Bar Beach

2016

Forster

Main Beach

2016

Hawks Nest

Bennetts Beach

2016

Redhead

Redhead Beach

2016

Sydney

Bondi Beach

2016

Kiama

Surf Beach

2016

Sussex Inlet

Cudmirrah Beach

2016

Mollymook

Mollymook Beach

2016

Batemans Bay

Malua Bay Beach

2016

Merimbula

Main Beach

2016

Under the NSW Shark Management Program 2021/22, this program has increased the number of drone locations from 34 to 50, including popular tourist destinations on the far north and far south coasts of NSW and in the Greater Sydney region.

Key points of this program:

  • Every coastal LGA along the NSW coastline will have at least one UAV patrol location during the 2021/22 SLS season
  • There is now a total of 50 locations across the state under this NSW Government program, with 16 new locations being added to the 34 delivered during the 2020/21 SLS season

Find out more about 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