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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries
Thursday 21 February 2019

SMART drumline trial underway

Ten non-lethal SMART drumlines will be deployed daily, weather permitting, about 500 metres off the Gracetown coast for the next 15 months, as part of a rigorous scientific trial into the effectiveness of the technology.

Non-lethal SMART drumlines have been used in New South Wales since 2015 to catch, tag, relocate and release sharks. However, detailed scientific information about the effectiveness of the technology in reducing the risk of a shark attack has not been publically released.

After 12 months, the WA Chief Scientist, Professor Peter Klinken AC, will undertake an independent assessment of the effectiveness of SMART drumlines in reducing the risk of shark attacks. The Chief Scientist's report will assist government in making a science-based assessment of the potential application of SMART drumlines in Western Australia.

Monthly catch reports will be made available on the SharkSmart website.

There is also a Ministerial Reference Group which includes representatives of Surfing WA, the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Sea Shepherd, the Conservation Council WA, and Surf Life Saving WA to ensure the trial is open and accountable.

For local beachgoers and visitors to this popular part of the State's coast, shark alarms with lights and sirens that can be triggered remotely will alert beachgoers at popular surf breaks to shark activity. These alarms will also be triggered for shark sightings and tagged shark detections.

Water users are encouraged to check the SharkSmart website for shark activity before heading to the beach. The SharkSmart activity map will have up-to-date information about sharks caught and released as part of the trial, as well as shark sighting information and tagged shark detections in this area.

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Last modified: 21/02/2019 10:23 AM

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