Surveillance drones will be used in a three-month trial in Western Australia´s South West beaches to increase security by spotting sharks in the water. The initiative is taken as a means to maintain the safety of beach-goers.
According to ABC, $88,000 will be used as part of the Australian Government´s shark mitigation strategy, allowing Surf Livesaving WA to have four small drones with high definition cameras to take live photos. The photos will then be shown to security personnel to prevent any delicate situation. In addition to testing the drone´s capacity, it can cut costs since it will replace helicopters and patrols, which has been the current method of preventing shark attacks.
The drones will have to face adverse situations
However, the trial will run from November to January, and have to achieve excellent results to keep its funding. This might be an unpredictable scenario considering that these drones will have to face environmental factors in a beach's geography and different weather conditions.
"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. The trial will assess whether this eye in the sky technology can add value to the beach surveillance currently provided by helicopter and beach patrols," said Fisheries Minister Joe Francis.
A second measure to fight sharks
This action has been taken in response to several shark attacks, which have become a big problem in the last months to the point where some beaches had to be closed for days to avoid any more incidents.
Using surveillance drones to spot sharks is the second measure announced by the Australian authorities in the last days, after the tagging boosted system, which according to the BBC it has been effective so far. On the other hand, many conservationist thinks that this measure is dangerous to wildlife.