Which beaches will have shark spotters during the holidays?

19th September 2017 2:27 PM
UPDATED 2:30 PM
Helicopters and drones will circle over North Coast beaches during school holidays, thanks to the NSW Government's $16 million Shark Management Strategy. Helicopters and drones will circle over North Coast beaches during school holidays, thanks to the NSW Government's $16 million Shark Management Strategy. Rebecca Lollback

HELICOPTERS and drones will again circle the skies these school holidays, thanks to the NSW Government's $16 million Shark Management Strategy.

Parliamentary Secretary for the North Coast, Ben Franklin, said helicopters would fly daily from Point Danger (Tweed Heads) to South Ballina.

Drones will hover above beaches at Byron Bay, Lennox Head, Ballina and Evans Head from next week.

"Drones are fitted with a siren to alert swimmers and surfers if a shark is spotted nearby," Mr Franklin said.

"They will be flying every half hour each morning of the holidays from Saturday 23 September on the north coast.

"This continues our trials of drone surveillance and complements our SMART drumlines and VR4G listening stations.

"While sharks are a natural part of our environment, a better awareness and understanding of their behaviour can help everyone enjoy the beach and reduce their risk of a shark interaction."

There are 21 VR4G listening stations deployed along the NSW coast providing real time shark alerts to beachgoers when a tagged shark swims within 500m.

Aerial surveillance sightings and tagged shark information is automatically sent out via the Sharksmart App and on @NSWSharkSmart on Twitter.

There are also 35 SMART drumlines are currently deployed between Ballina and Evans Head.

In early November, a second North Coast shark net trial will get underway at Seven Mile Beach at Lennox Head, Sharpes Beach, Shelly Beach and Lighthouse Beach at Ballina and Evans Head.