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New 'Smart Drums' Deployed as Shark Attacks Increase in New South Whales

Oct 03, 2016 05:49 AM EDT

Beware of sharks! Blake Lively's latest movie "Shallows" could be a fitting representation of how fatal sharks attacks can be. In Australia, the government was forced to deploy additional drumlines to serve as protective barriers as increased shark attacks were reported this year.

In New South Wales, new measurements are being taken to prevent shark attacks on its famous beaches after a teenage surfer recently suffered from an attack. The 17-year old was hurt and was bitten in the leg during a surfing trip last Monday, Sept. 26 at the Ballina's Lighthouse Beach, a known shark hotspot.

Because of the incident, authorities are working double time to catch sharks near beaches and relocating them in places that won't be harmful to swimming tourists. Sharks are also being tagged for easier management and observation.

To be able to capture, tag and relocate sharks, drum lines will be deployed. The drum lines are also called "smart drum", they are capable of alerting authorities when sharks were captured. After that, sharks are tagged and relocated. These measures have to be taken seriously to prevent more shark attack injuries and even death in New South Wales.  Reports say that a number of smart drums were already installed; 15 located off state and around 85 more will be deployed.

"There are people everywhere except Lighthouse Beach," Ballina mayor David Wright said in a statement."Six sharks have been caught in the past six days -- a two-meter shark was tagged today," Wright added.

However, the efforts are not spared from the eye of conservationists who says some of the measures being taken by the authorities can harm the wildlife and disrupt nature's balance. But measures had to be taken and they have to be executed fast because, this year alone, there were five recorded sharks attacks in New South Wales, according to a report by BBC.

Capturing and tagging system is deemed "rough" by conservationists, although these measures will not kill sharks, it can cause some minor discomfort as they will be tagged and will be relocated to a different place far away from their natural habitat or breeding ground.

But despite that, authorities believe that the use of smart drums will be beneficial to many and of course, in preventing fatal shark attacks. "Our testing shows smart drum lines are highly effective in catching sharks so they can be tagged and relocated, so we will increase the number deployed off New South Wales from 15 to 100. The smart drum line rollout will be prioritized on the North Coast in response to strong community support for the technology," Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said in a statement


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