In Australia, the New South Wales Government announced a new $8 million strategy to keep people safe from sharks this season. Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall commented that up 80 drones will be used to do so. This is double the number of unmanned aircraft that were used last year.
Double the number of drones will be deployed by the NSW government in Australia
The NSW government will use up to 80 drones this season that are equipped with advanced technology to detect the size of species of sharks, according to ABC News.
“The new equipment will be used at 34 beaches on the north and south coasts deemed to be at risk of shark attacks,” Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said. “The high-tech drones are a big advance on current models.”
Ben Beesley, president of the Lennox Head and Ballina Le-Ba Boardriders club, as well as a pilot and accredited trainer of commercial drone operators, points out that more drones will require more training as well to develop a broader understanding of safety in the aviation industry.
“Being a pilot myself, there’s been many times where you come into pretty close proximity to drones. If one of those was to come crashing through the windscreen of my aircraft it’s probably going to send me to the ground. In terms on investment from the Government I think that would be one way to make sure the sky’s a safe place, not just the water,” he said.
Ariel sharks surveillance is the primary purpose of the drones, however, the unmanned aircraft may also prove useful in emergency situations along parts of the coastline that are hard to reach. Director of Surf Life Saving for the region Cheryl McCarthy said:
“If there are emergency call-outs in the area they can be deployed to back up those search efforts as well. They’re easy to move around because they’re small and we can trek them into remote areas.”
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