Local News

Multiple grey reef sharks congregate around BRUVS at Lagoon Reef, Northern Great Barrier Reef Credit: Austrailan Institute of Marine Science / Global FinPrint

Clarence and Richmond Valleys join world’s largest shark program

Clarence and Richmond Valley beaches will be safer for locals and visitors this summer with the region taking part in the NSW Government’s 2021/22 Shark Management Program, the largest such scheme on the planet, Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis announced on the weekend.

“The local risk is small, but the local risk is real, as we saw with the Father’s Day attack at Emerald Beach that tragically left a young pregnant woman widowed,” Mr Gulaptis said.

Both local government areas will now have SMART drumlines, VR4G listening stations, shark tagging and Surf Life Saving Club-operated shark-spotting drones as part of a NSW Government investment of more than $21 million.

Mr Gulaptis said NSW now had not just the world’s largest shark management program, but also the biggest domestic fleet of shark-spotting drones of any country.

“SMART drumlines and listening stations alert fisheries staff when a shark is caught to it can be tagged and removed if needed. They are statistically more effective than less environmentally friendly shark nets,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“But it is the drones that get the headlines and for good reason: since we began deploying them, they have found 230 sharks and implemented counter measures 121 times.”

The NSW Government encourage all beachgoers to be SharkSmart when entering the ocean or estuarine environments and download the SharkSmart app. For more information on the technologies used, visit www.sharksmart.nsw.gov.au.

This graphic shows complete NSW shark protection system for 2021-22. The location and deployment dates of new equipment within the LGA will be determined in consultation with councils, SLSNSW and DPI.