It may be winter but thousands of people are still expected to flock to beaches for some fun in the sun these school holidays, and all beachgoers are being urged to be Shark Smart.
Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin said aerial surveillance using helicopters is continuing every weekend between South Ballina and Point Danger, Tweed Heads up to the September school holidays, and every day of the Queensland and NSW school holidays from 30 June to 23 July.
There will be a new drone trial at Evans Head at the same time, with up to six flights per day, weather permitting. The first flight will be flown at 07:30am, with consecutive flights at half hour intervals.
Daily helicopter flights will also be flown from July 7 – July 23, weather permitting, from South Sawtell to Wooli; from Lighthouse Beach, Port Macquarie to Nambucca Heads; and from Birubi Beach to Crowdy Head.
“The DPI works with beach authorities, aerial surveillance contractors and NSW Police to do all we can to protect swimmers, surfers and other water users,” Mr Franklin said.
“While sharks are a natural part of our environment, a better awareness and understanding of sharks and their behaviour can help everyone enjoy the beach and reduce their risk of a shark encounter.
“Information about sharks spotted from helicopters is relayed immediately to our SharkSmart App and @NSWSharkSmart on Twitter,” Mr Franklin said.
“This is in addition to up to 35 SMART drumlines deployed every day, weather permitting, around Ballina, Lennox Head, and Evans Head, tagging White, Bull and Tiger sharks and releasing them further out to sea.
“These tagged sharks can be detected on our network of 21 VR4G listening stations dotted along the coast. Users of the App and Twitter would be familiar with the increasing number of alerts at this time of year, particularly around Forster, Port Macquarie, and Ballina.
The SharkSmart campaign also provides useful tips to minimise the risk of being in waters where sharks may be present.
“I would encourage all beachgoers to download our SharkSmart app and follow us on Twitter to get the latest information.”
For further information on SharkSmart visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au