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Byron Shire
March 28, 2023

Shark drumlines to be deployed at Byron beaches

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So-called 'smart' drum lines are to be deployed on the beaches along Byron.
So-called ‘smart’ drum lines are to be deployed on the beaches along Byron.

Ten new Smart drumlines are to be deployed at local beaches between Brunswick Heads and Broken Head.

Smart drumlines alert operators to an animal caught on the line. The unit then sends an alert via phone, email and text to researchers with the location and the shark is tagged, relocated and released.

Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin said it was great to see further shark mitigation measures in Byron Bay.

The measures are part of the NSW Government’s $16 million Shark Management Strategy to protect local beachgoers. The program will soon have 85 drumlines along the NSW coast.

‘The NSW Liberal & Nationals Government is committed to protecting beachgoers across NSW and SMART drumlines are proving to be one of the most effective measures,’ Mr Franklin said.

‘The NSW Government’s Shark Management Strategy is a science driven, innovative project designed to balance the need between shark bite mitigation and the protection of marine species.

‘The NSW Department of Primary Industries will now call for tenders from commercial fishers for the daily deployment and retrieval of the units.’

In the recent six-month trial on the North Coast, Smart drumlines were shown to be five times more effective than mesh nets.

Mesh nets caught just seven target Sharks (including 3 White Sharks) while 25 Smart drumlines caught 37 target Sharks (including 31 White Sharks) in the same period

Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said tagged sharks are able to be tracked on the network of 20 VR4G shark listening stations to provide real-time tracking data.

‘We now have 85 Smart drumlines on the water – with another 15 to be regularly used by researchers for targeted tagging trips,’ Mr Blair said.

The additional drumlines in our region will be at Byron Bay between Brunswick Heads and Broken Head.

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  1. This has to be one of the weirdest things ever!

    Govt puts baited hooks to attract sharks, in an area of known shark activity, out in front of kids surf spots, Lennox Pub is one example.

    I’ve witnessed the “relocation” process first hand. A couple of hundred metres at best, a couple of tail flicks from our tagged friends and they are back to their known feeding spot!

    And hey presto, the more smart lines put out for catch and release the more sharks we are finding to place on now very crowded map (on an App) that shows sharks everywhere with little rhyme or reason for their movements!

    Smart lines alright!

  2. Hi,
    shark meat is a delicious & highly nutritional food. I suggest , only releasing
    less than two (2 %) of hooked/captured sharks , and sell the rest through
    a/the local fish co-operative Or donate [every other week] to fisherman &
    families .


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