Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith today welcomed the efforts of local group Shark Watch NSW to set up a volunteer surveillance service to help protect swimmers and surfers at Ballina’s beaches.
“I fully support this local solution to a very complex problem affecting Ballina’s residents. Shark Watch is well organised and committed to providing a shark spotting service using volunteers and drones,” said Ms Smith.
“Shark spotting was the most effective strategy identified in the Cardno review done on behalf of the NSW Department of Primary Industries in 2015. Smart drumlines and CleverBuoy technologies were also on that shortlist and these have been funded by the DPI – why not the number one option of shark spotting?”
“Shark Watch is willing to provide a non-lethal shark detection service in time for the summer holiday season, so that residents and tourists alike know that there are beaches in Ballina where there are volunteers dedicated to spotting sharks, backed up by drone flights and a real time warning system for ocean users.”
Shark Watch NSW spokesperson Andrew Nieuwenhof says his group believes surveillance by volunteer spotters and drones (combined) offers the best available and most cost effective option.
“Our short-term goal is to have five teams operational by the Christmas holiday season – a goal that requires only very modest start-up funding. This would allow us to cover five sites between Lennox Point and Lighthouse Beach, and provide a valuable community service,” said Mr Nieuwenhof.
A proposal for this funding was recently presented to the NSW government. In the absence of a response so far, the Shark Watch committee unanimously agreed to begin a crowdfunding campaign to achieve their goal.
To make a donation to Shark Watch:
Shark Watch NSW Inc
BSB: 062 502
A/C: 1050 0734
Join in with a rally at Lighthouse Beach 10am Sunday 23 October 2016 - Australian Seabird Rescue will also release a turtle.