Surfers and swimmers are being urged to be extra vigilant following numerous shark detections along north coast beaches this week.
The listening station at Evans Head buoy, off Main Beach, has pinged 15 times since Sunday, with alerts associated with tagged great whites. Sharks have also been detected at Sharpes Beach near Ballina, where two surfers were knocked off their boards this week, Clarkes Beach at Byron Bay, and also at Shelley Beach where a third surfer had a close encounter this week.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries has asked surfers and other ocean users to download the Shark Smart app from the Apple App Store or Google Play, or follow the @SharkSmart Twitter page for alerts.
Meanwhile, Richmond Valley Council is reminding beachgoers that sirens are installed at the Evans Head Surf Club, and the Marine Rescue tower at Razorback lookout.
The council’s General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said the shark-sighting warning system underwent a thorough overhaul to remove a few teething issues, such as false alarms.
Mr Macdonald said a redesign of the communications infrastructure now meant if a problem occurred with the system, the council was notified immediately.
He said the company responsible for the installation of the system, CAV Security, had also increased its testing regime of cameras, microphones and alarms.
In addition to the shark sirens, a public address system will be used to verbally communicate to the public to keep them up to date.
‘Marine Rescue volunteers have a great view of the beaches and break wall, and if there is a shark sighting, they will trigger the sirens without delay,’ Mr Macdonald said.
‘The system also allows surf lifesavers, police, Council rangers, and members of the public to set off the sirens to warn all surfers and swimmers of shark sightings.’