The recent tragic shark attack has prompted another round of debate about the best means of providing swimmer and surfer protection.
While the overwhelming majority of regular local surfers and swimmers would be avidly opposed to any anti-environmental measures such as shark culling or netting, the usual proponents of these interventions have surfaced once again.
What constructive shark surveillance measures are available then?
I would advocate the use of small drones that could regularly patrol the skies above crowded patrolled beaches such as at Byron, Lennox and Ballina.
The drones can be equipped with surveillance video cameras that can interface with lifeguards or volunteers who could promptly activate a shark alarm or drive the shark out to sea.
This preventative measure would be cheap and environmentally responsible. There are many people who would be willing and able to assist I’m sure.
I don’t know whether there are any precedents elsewhere for the use of drone technology for such a constructive purpose. The debit side would possibly be some noise and intrusiveness.
Let’s start the debate and move forward to minimise the chance of another ocean enthusiast dying.
Richard Lucas, Lennox Head