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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Graphic showing a shark setting off a satellite receiver alerting a boat to the shark detection

SMART drumlines are a non-lethal method of shark mitigation which allows sharks to be tagged and moved further offshore away from water users.  

Monday 22 October 2018

Framework set for non-lethal SMART drumline trial

Ten non-lethal SMART drumlines will be deployed about 500 metres offshore along an 11.5 kilometre stretch of coast in the Gracetown area, as part of a trial to determine the technology’s effectiveness in reducing shark attacks in Western Australia.

A consultation process, launched in September, provided community members with the chance to have their say on two potential design options we developed for the non-lethal trial.

Community consultation found that 57 per cent of the 161 respondents preferred the selected trial design. A reference group of key stakeholders formed by the Minister for Fisheries, which includes representatives of Sea Shepherd, the Conservation Council WA, Surfing WA, the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River and Surf Life Saving WA, is also supportive of the trial design.

Public consultation also showed overwhelming community backing to extend the Shark Monitoring Network to the Gracetown area.

Two receivers will be deployed at Cowaramup Bay and a third receiver will be installed at popular surf break Lefthanders, south of Gracetown.

The three new satellite-linked receivers, costing approximately $200,000 are on track to be installed by mid-December ready for the busy Christmas holiday period. This will take the number of receivers in WA’s Shark Monitoring Network to 30.

These receivers will detect tagged sharks within their vicinity and provide real-time information to authorities and ocean users, so they can make informed decisions before entering the water. This information is uploaded to the Sharksmart activity map and the Surf Life Saving WA Twitter feed.

A public tender will soon be undertaken to select a contractor for the non-lethal SMART drumline trial.

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Last modified: 22/10/2018 2:50 PM

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