FOLLOWING an inspection of two shark technology trials underway off Ballina, it has been announced that Ballina and Lennox Head will be the first areas to have barrier nets off the NSW coast as the NSW Government continues rolling out its $16 million shark strategy.
Premier visits Ballina
NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair made the big announcement after the inspection off Ballina.
"The state's first ever barrier nets will be positioned off Ballina's Lighthouse Beach and Lennox Head, and we'll fast-track construction to ensure they're in place as soon as possible," Mr Baird said.
"The trials we're undertaking as part of our $16m shark strategy are based on the best science available, and are aimed at finding long-term solutions to keep our beaches safe while minimising the impact on marine life."
Entire length of the beach
The shark barriers at Ballina will run the entire length of the beach - about 650 metres - while the barrier net at Lennox Head Beach will be about 150 metres.
The NSW Government has committed to installing a further four shark barriers.
The Premier and Minister visited Ballina today to inspect a smart drum line, as well as one of two new listening stations installed on the North Coast last week.
Smart drum line testing
"Initial testing of the smart drum line technology is well underway and we'll continue to consult with the North Coast community and environmental groups," Mr Blair said.
"If this trial is successful the smart drum lines will be deployed permanently off the North Coast."
Two of 20 state-of-the-art VR4G listening stations are in position off Sharpes Beach at Ballina and Clarkes Beach at Byron Bay, monitoring sharks tagged as part of the current DPI tagging program - as well as other tagged sharks.
Information is a tweet away
The information received via the listening stations will be tweeted in real-time to ensure the public has information to make informed decisions before entering the water.
To receive updates on tagged shark detections follow @nswsharksmart.