28 February, 2019

A SMART (Shark-Management-Alert-in-Real-Time) drumline trial will commence at Tathra and Pambula-Merimbula beaches from 1 March, complementing similar trials in all other regions of the NSW coast.

NSW Department of Primary Industries Deputy Director General Fisheries, Dr Geoff Allan said this is a fantastic result for the Bega Valley community, as the SMART drumline trial will help guide future shark management options on the NSW south coast, while having a minimal impact on the local marine ecosystem.

“Our beautiful beaches along the Bega Valley coastline are popular with both locals and tourists, so it’s a priority of this Government to assess numerous options to keep our beachgoers as safe as possible,” Dr Allan said.

“We’re delighted that this eight-week trial is set to begin soon, as results from trials in other parts of the state show that SMART drumlines are successful in catching target sharks, which can then be tagged and released along with any non-target animals.

“The DPI will use the trial as an opportunity to further inform the community about how the technology can operate in their backyard.”

During the trial period, 10 SMART drumlines will be set at Tathra and 10 SMART drumlines will be set at Pambula-Merimbula beaches each morning and then retrieved later in the day (pending weather conditions).

The SMART drumline trial will complement shark mitigation trials undertaken in the region including:

  • Drone aerial surveillance trials with Surf Life Saving NSW at Pambula and Tathra beaches,
  • Helicopter aerial surveillance during the summer and autumn school holidays, and
  • The Merimbula Beach VR4G shark listening station, which sends an alert to DPI’s SharkSmart app and Twitter @NSWSharkSmart when a tagged shark swims within 500m of the unit.

The NSW Government’s SMART drumline trials are continuing on the North Coast up to 30 June 2020, with up to 35 SMART drumlines deployed daily on the North Coast between Lennox Head and Evans Head, weather dependent.

Trials were also conducted at Coffs Harbour, Forster, Kiama and Ulladulla, with other trials commencing in 2019 in Newcastle and Sydney adjacent to some meshed beaches.

For more information on how SMART drumlines work, visit SMART drumlines.

More information

Media contact: Lyndall Hilder

Phone: (02) 6391 3686

Image courtesy of NSW DPI