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Published on : Thursday, November 26, 2015
With summers in Australia tourists love to flock to the beaches and make coastal areas their holiday destination. But with the growing number of Sharks in the ocean it is at times difficult to adopt safety measures to protect tourists from sudden shark attacks.
The great whites, bull and tiger sharks are known to hunt seals which are their main food, however sometimes they mistake humans, particularly surfers in the deep sea for seals.
Shark attacks have been on the rise in New South Wales where shark attacks have rapidly gone up in 2015, there have been 14 shark attacks, in 2014 there were 3 shark attacks and 5 in 2013 . The NSW government is coming up with a $16 million shark strategy to protect swimmers and surfers in the state.
300m-by-100m-shark barrier from 13,000 interlocking nylon modules have been created and submerged. This fence acts like a shark barrier which allows small marine species to swim through the gaps but stops larger creatures. It took more than three years to complete and cost A$250,000 ($179,000).
There are many devices being invented that act like Shark detectors aimed at keeping swimmers and surfers away from sharks. Water barriers, rubber electric fences and personal devices are worn by surfers to detect if the shark is close.
Many companies are focusing on co existence rather driving sharks away. The device is known as Clever Buoy, which sends signals to a satellite and text messages to the lifeguard onshore when a shark is detected. The system has been developed by Shark Attack Mitigation Systems, along with Google and telecom firm Optus. The buoy has been tested in the Sydney Aquarium which allows it to recognise the sharks from harmful to harmless ones. Along with this buoy monitor drones will observe the beaches and the water to find accurate and cheaper results compared to helicopters.
However Shark barriers have proved to be quite effective and sea councils throughout Australia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Spain are using them. They can be left in water throughout the year. No Shark has penetrated through the barrier in all the countries that tested it. Mesh nets are used extensively but conservationists feel that they harm the marine life greatly.
There is serious thought being given to the shark problem as Christmas is near and Australian beaches are going to be crowded with thousands of surfers and swimmers and normal beach goers. An encounter with is shark is the last thing one would expect.