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WA to conduct scientific trial of SMART drumlines

The WA Government will trial SMART drumlines in the State’s south-west to determine if the non-lethal technology is effective at reducing shark attacks in Western Australia.

Non-lethal SMART drumlines have been used in northern New South Wales since 2015 to catch, tag, relocate and release sharks.

The information provided by the NSW Government on their trial is insufficient to determine the effectiveness of SMART drumlines and guide a long-term financial investment for WA’s coastline.

A local trial, carried out in local conditions, will determine if the technology is effective for WA. Chief Scientist Peter Klinken will be conducting an independent scientific analysis of the trial and the WA Government’s world-first personal shark deterrent subsidy.

The WA Government’s shark mitigation policies are based on science and research, and a long-term decision on SMART drumlines will be no different.

All shark bites since 2000 have been attributed to White Sharks and therefore they will be the target species for this program. Tiger or Bull Sharks caught that are over two metres will also be tagged.

It is expected the trial will run for at least 12 months and be conducted in the Gracetown area. Final details and costs will be determined and announced in the coming weeks.

The trial will complement the WA Government’s existing comprehensive shark mitigation strategy. This includes a world-first personal shark deterrent subsidy; funding Surf Life Saving WA beach, helicopter and drone patrols; expanding the Shark Monitoring Network to Esperance; tagging operations; funding Beach Emergency Number signs; and providing funding for a swimming enclosure at Falcon.

Source: WA Government

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