Stills from a NSW Department of Primary Industries video showcasing shark monitoring drones.
Stills from a NSW Department of Primary Industries video showcasing shark monitoring drones. Contributed

VIDEO: Shark drone footage acts as tourist lure

DRONE footage produced by the NSW Department of Primary Industries to highlight shark detecting drones has doubled as a tourism showcase for Northern NSW.

Published on You Tube and shared on other sites on February 20, the two-and-a-half minute video was made by the drone team stationed at Lighthouse Beach, Ballina.

The video showcases azure seascapes, pods of bottle nose dolphins, sting rays, a turtle and at the final scene, a great white shark only metres from two surfers.

 

The footage was captured during Phase 3 and 4 of of the NSW Government's $16 million Shark Management Strategy drone trials, which ran between October 2016 and late January 2017.

The shark-detecting drones were trialled on beaches in collaboration with Southern Cross University.

"The trial has been a great success as we have gained a greater understanding about the environmental conditions drones can work in to detect sharks and have proven qualified pilots are effective in undertaking this work," a NSW DPI spokesperson said.

NSW DPI drone footage shows a surfer just metres away from a Great White shark.
NSW DPI drone footage shows a surfer just metres away from a Great White shark.

"DPI has a lot of support for the Drone Trials and other elements of the Shark Management Strategy."

In a boon to tourism for the area, Northern NSW residents are keenly sharing the footage on social media, with the You Tube video garnering more than 6,500 views in four days.

"The footage shows the incredible capacity of drones as a surveillance tool and highlights the wide array of animals that share the oceans with us every day," A DPI spokesperson said.

"DPI is now working with Byron, Ballina and Richmond Valley Councils to determine the best way forward in making drones operational on North Coast beaches."



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