A TOTAL of $200,000 allocated to five individual projects looking to 'increase protection for bathers from shark interactions while minimising harm to sharks or other animals', means we could see up to five new shark deterrent methods tested in the coming months.
Referred to as Annual Competitive Grants, it includes a project from Byron Shire Council.
The NSW Government developed the scientifically-driven Shark Management Strategy (SMS), involving innovative approaches to provide the most effective protection against shark interactions at NSW beaches.
2017/18 was is the second year the Annual Competitive Grants were offered as part of the SMS, which runs for five years.
A total of $200,000 is available under the Shark Management Strategy Grants Program for single year projects, which receive $50,000 each.
The majority of the following projects are expected to be completed by June:
1. Testing the ability of a Kevlar-Wetsuit to minimise injuries from shark attacks - Flinders University
Wetsuits with Kevlar incorporated within the neoprene have recently been developed to minimise injuries from shark attacks. Yet, the ability of such wetsuit to reduce cuts and wounds from shark bites is unknown. The proposed study aims to test the ability of a Kevlar-woven wetsuit to reduce injuries and blood loss of a shark attack victim.
2. Sharkeye - Real-Time Smart App Alerting through Aerial Surveillance - University of Wollongong
This project provides a superior tool for real-time personal shark detection by integrating aerial blimp-based reconnaissance, smart image recognition, and wireless wearable technology. The system will provide beach-goers with immediate information via smart apps, empowering lifesavers and beachgoers to prevent dangerous encounters with wildlife before it happens.
3. Shark Smart Alert and Advice System - Byron Shire Council
This project will develop a shark alert and advice system for all water users in coastal locations in the Northern Rivers. The proposed system automatically and wirelessly relays the information from the DPI Shark Smart app to a solar powered, 4G connected alert poles. This new system will provide bathers with information that allows them to make an informed choice about entering and leaving the water.
4. Shark Safe - The wearable shark alert system - Step Three
This project will test a waterproof wearable prototype that communicates between a VR4G listening station and the wearer on the water.
5. Assessing the efficacy of a new long-range electric deterrent to protect beaches - Flinders University
A new kind of transducers has resulted in a long range technology employed by the Shark Shield in a new product, the Ocean Guardian, aimed at protecting bathers in large areas, such as beaches. This project will test the efficacy of the Ocean Guardian to estimate the distance from which it can deter white sharks.