28.5 C
Byron Shire
September 25, 2021

Shark spotting drones in action from this weekend

Latest News

Fundraising for koala signs for Bangalow

As the koala mating season has started, Bangalow Koalas has set up fundraising to create incorporate more koala road signs. Bangalow...

Other News

Mandatory mask

Mandatory mask wearing is not working. Supermarkets can’t seem to enforce this, unfortunately. If like me, you see a...

Biggest corporate greenwashers revealed by Greenpeace

According to a new analysis by Greenpeace, most of Australia’s highest-emitting companies that have implemented net-zero emission commitments do not have any will to meet their target.

Greed

I write to express my concern with greedy landlords who seem to go by the sandpit mantra ‘they did...

Byron Shire Councillors vote to raise CBD height

The developers of 33 Lawson Street, Byron Bay, came to last week’s Council meeting asking for permission to breach the building height limit in Central Byron by 38 per cent.

NSW ‘Crisis Cabinet’ failed in crisis

As the Northern Rivers goes back into lockdown once again as a result of people coming to the area from Sydney it has been revealed that the ‘Crisis Cabinet’ failed to meet during key crisis points.

Mechanism of so much destructive economic policy re ‘la covida’, IMF

The IMF (US controlled, unelected) offered governments $650 billion in Special Drawing Rights, to buffer losses caused by economic...

Andrew Colefax uses drones to research shark behaviour and develop drone-based shark detection. Photo supplied.

Last years successful trial of shark spotting drones on the north coast has led to the announcement that they will be trialling the drones to provide beach safety surveillance over 15 beaches from the start of the October school holidays. This supports the suspension of the unsuccessful shark net trial over the last two years on the north coast.

The trials begin this weekend on the north coast and include: Main Beach Kingscliff, Byron Bay, Lennox Head, Lighthouse Beach Ballina, Evans Head, Yamba and Coffs Coast as well as other beaches towards and below Sydney.

The drones, more formally known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), are fitted with alerting devices and the ability to drop an inflatable rescue pod to distressed swimmers like they did earlier this year at Lennox Head.

The program will be funded through the $16 million NSW government Shark Management Strategy. Not only will it be used for shark spotting, but new alert devices fitted to the UAVs can be used to help evacuate swimmers from the water if required. Additionally, the technological advancements in the cameras and vision resolution will assist with shark species identification and research into the behaviour of marine life.

NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said, ‘The vision will be delivered live back to the Surf Life Saving team at the beach, allowing them to spot any potential problems in the water as they happen, making it genuinely lifesaving technology.’

To supper the program they will also be training up to 300 lifesavers as pilots over the season.

‘If people can fly a UAV or want to learn to fly one, there’s now an opportunity for them to get involved and play a part in helping to protect people on our beaches,’ said Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce.

‘With the incredible rate of advancement in the technology, we may soon see this equipment operating on all our beaches in the very near future. The sky is the limit and may hold the key to reducing coastal drowning deaths.’

The UAVs will complement helicopter aerial surveillance already underway on the north coast.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I struggle to find any comfort in the idea that a drone may spot a shark in an area where I am swimming/surfing and save me from a nasty demise.

    The Northern Rivers coastline extends for about 230kms and has countless beaches.
    During daylight savings people will be in the water for about 13 hours a day every day (say 6:30am to 7:30pm ?) across that vast expanse.

    How many of these things will be buzzing around ?
    How long can they stay in the air ?

    It just defies logic to think that they could have them operating in a fashion that will provide them with a reliable field of view or surveillance capabilities (human or algorithmic) that will offer any serious sort of shark protection.

    Sure, I have never been attacked by a shark in the many many years of my life with time in the ocean, so I just feel like this will be a PR campaign (cue the Ben Franklin photo opportunity – perhaps we could build a shark barrier for each resident made out of his local media photo portfolio and the recycled oversize cheques he hands out) but no actual difference or outcomes.

    I do accept that they could be more helpful for monitoring a defined and limited flagged & patrolled swimming area, but that is not what they are being promoted as.

    Am I alone here ?
    What have I missed ?

  2. It would be good to know when the drones will fly during the day – and how often. If they go up once per day, that’s pointless!! Do you have more details?

  3. Good to see the issue being taken seriously, particularly after this week’s double shark attack on the Whitsundays. However, inevitably some popular beaches will miss out, but hopefully at some future stage, as the technology gets cheaper, all popular beaches will be covered.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Nuclear Submarines – just a foot in the door

In the next few months we will hear a lot about how superior nuclear-powered submarines are. Vice Admiral Mike Noonan is even claiming superior stealth characteristics – which is simply not true. Yes, they tend to be faster. This is great if you want to go thousands of kilometres in a matter of days. But they are also much more expensive.

Compost back on Lismore’s gardening menu

Lismore City Council says that their BIOCycle Compost is again on sale from the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre and Nimbin Transfer Station, after a two-year break.

Tony’s reflections as king of the Macadamia Castle

Looking back on 14 years at the Macadamia Castle, Tony Gilding says the important things to him were the conservation of the animals and the development of staff.

Getting annoyed with NSW Farmers naming ‘rights’

The Annoying Vegan has become more annoyed today with what they see as the NSW Farmers getting on their high horse about the use of the words ‘meat’ and ‘milk’.