Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast Gareth Ward today announced that the New South Wales Government is this week installing the first of five new shark listening stations on the NSW South Coast.
Narooma already has a series of listening devices strung out between the mainland and Montague Island that picks up all tagged ocean creatures, including sharks. Click here for more
While scientists around the world can access the acoustic data from the Integrated Marine Observation System (IMOS) system at Montague Island, only these new listening stations are specifically tied in real time into the Shark Smart App, Twitter and Department of Primary Industries website.
The Minister’s office said only data from the VR4G receivers is transmitted via satellite, then published through Twitter and the Shark Smart app. The receivers near Montague are VR2G; they record information about shark movements which is downloaded regularly and analysed to document past movement patterns.
There have been sightings in the past week of large sharks in close at Potato Point and Tilba beaches, although commercial trap and line fisherman Jason Moyce said he had not any seen great whites in recent weeks.
The new tags meanwhile are being installed at five locations along the South Coast.
“These satellite-linked VR4G receivers record the presence of tagged sharks swimming within a 500 metre radius of the listening station and provide near real-time updates of tagged sharks close to key swimming/surfing locations,” Mr Ward said.
“On Thursday and Friday this week, the 16th, 17th and 18th November, VR4G’s in NSW are being installed at Kiama, Sussex Inlet and Mollymook.
“Two more will be installed further south at Batemans Bay and Merimbula in the coming weeks – taking the number for the NSW coastline to 20.
“Information on the movement of tagged sharks captured on the VR4Gs goes straight to a satellite and is then instantly sent to mobile devices via Twitter and the SharkSmart App.”
The Shark Smart app – available on the website at: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au – provides key information about the movement of sharks along our coastline as well as providing important safety measures in place on our State’s beaches, he said.