Shark-spotting drone to be trialled at WA beaches

A shark-spotting surveillance drone will be used to boost beach patrols in Western Australia’s South West in a three-month trial set to start next month.

Fisheries Minister Joe Francis said the $88,000 trial, part of the Government’s shark mitigation stategy, would allow Surf Livesaving WA to purchase and operate several drones along the Perth metropolitan coast and South West.

The drone will be equipped with high definition cameras which will stream live vision back to surf lifesaving staff.

“Drone technology has advanced significantly in recent years and it makes sense to test if it can be used effectively to make our beaches safer,” Mr Francis said.

The drone will be used at surf carnivals and other community events at local beaches.

It will begin in November and run until January 2017.

Mr Francis said future funding for the program would depend on the result of the trial.

Shark-spotting drones have also been trialled in New South Wales.

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