Eye in the sky: quadcopter capturing footage of surfers at Point Cartwright, Sunshine Coast.
Eye in the sky: quadcopter capturing footage of surfers at Point Cartwright, Sunshine Coast. Christina Pfeiffer

Drones could be used to spot sharks on NSW beaches

THE use of drones to spot sharks lurking close to popular swimming beaches is one response the New South Wales is looking at this summer following Coffs Harbour's recent fatal attack.

The Department of Primary Industries has confirmed it is considering the use of remote controlled aerial cameras to monitor beaches along the New South Wales coast once shark sightings become apparent.

The program of remote observation from the skies could present as a cheaper option to current State Government-funded helicopter aerial patrols over summer.

Surf Lifesaving Australia has already conducted a drone trial on Queensland beaches.

The use of drones is not to search for sharks, but to help spot swimmers in trouble on unpatrolled beaches. 

It is understood NSW DPI is also researching a whole host of uses for drone flights such as to combat weed infestations in remote areas with the possibility of aerial spraying.

The unmanned aircraft, providing live vision to a control centre, could also be deployed in the NSW Police Force's cannabis eradication programs and intelligence gathering operations.


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