Shark buoys may be tested in NSW

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion - By JON BAS­SETT

WEST Perth-de­vel­oped shark pro­tec­tion buoys could be tested in the Manly elec­torate of NSW Pre­mier Mike Baird be­fore a Cottes­loe Beach shark bar­rier is tri­alled in WA Pre­mier Colin Bar­nett’s seat.

“We have in­di­cated we are happy for the buoys to be tri­alled at our beach,” Manly Mayor Jean Hay said , af­ter her coun­cil helped prompt a re­view of off­shore shark nets in NSW.

The coun­cil and res­i­dents are con­cerned netting kills harm­less species and af­fects rare shark pop­u­la­tions.

Mr Bar­nett has said that al­low­ing the method, not used in WA, is in­con­sis­tent with op­po­si­tion to baited drum lines.

On Australia Day, Mr Baird said that if he was re-elected in March the buoys, de­vel­oped for an undis­closed amount by Have­lock Street-based Shark Attack Mit­i­ga­tion Strate­gies’ (SAMS), would get a $100,000 trial at un­de­cided popular Syd­ney beaches.

It is claimed the buoys recog­nise pass­ing sharks from a sonar sig­nal sent out sev­eral hun­dred me­tres, be­fore a warn­ing is sent by satel­lite.

“They haven’t been de­vel­oped in the past mainly be­cause of the costs as­so­ci­ated with sonar, and de­vel­op­ing the soft­ware,” SAMS co-founder Craig An­der­son said.

He said the Gov­ern­ment could re­con­sider the buoys, which are not part of WA’s shark attack mit­i­ga­tion strat­egy.

A Depart­ment of Pre­mier and Cabi­net spokesman said the Gov­ern­ment would wait on the out­comes of eight re­search projects to­talling $2 mil­lion, in­clud­ing Curtin Uni­ver­sity sonar re­search.

The in­stal­la­tion of drum­lines to catch a res­i­dent shark be­fore an attack will be op­posed at a Scarborough Beach rally on Fe­bru­ary 8.

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