Wednesday, 30 September 2015 00:03

Tech deterrents against shark attacks under scrutiny

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Tech deterrents against shark attacks under scrutiny Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Shark deterrent technologies, including satellite tracking and electric currents, are amongst the options considered at a state government summit in Sydney after a spate of shark attacks off the New South Wales coast this year.

The summit, at Taronga Park Zoo on Tuesday, was attended by 70 shark experts from Australia, South Africa and the United States who looked at a range of possible technology solutions designed to protect surfers and swimmers.

The summit was called by the NSW Government following its release of the results of an independent review into shark deterrent technologies that identified possible options for trial, including electric deterrent barriers, physical and visual barriers, sonar technologies and satellite and acoustic technology, for tagging and real-time tracking of tagged sharks.

The review, however, found that only one deterrent — a shark spotting program — was suitable for immediate trial.

The sonar technology which was part of the review was the Cleverbuoy system that was developed with Optus.

There have been 13 shark attacks in NSW so far this year, up from three in 2014. One surfer has been killed.

The NSW Premier, Mike Baird, has said the government is looking at all possible technology options for deterring sharks. “As a result of today we will have technologies that we will be able to advance through testing this summer — within our own controlled environments or on the coast.

“Whatever the experts come up with today, we will take that information and advance it as quickly as possible.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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