SMART drum line trial online consultation

Department of Primary Industries with a baited shark caught in NSW SMART drum line trial. Image supplied.
Department of Primary Industries with a baited shark caught in NSW SMART drum line trial. Image supplied.

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly is inviting the community to go online and have their say about the non-lethal SMART drum line trial in Gracetown and extension of the Shark Monitoring Network in the Capes region.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has carried out investigations to look at feasible sites in the Gracetown area for the deployment of non-lethal SMART drum lines.

The Department has developed two potential options for the non-lethal trial.

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One option includes 12 SMART drum lines focussed on surf breaks around a nine kilometre stretch of coast in the Gracetown area.

The second option includes 10 SMART drum lines to deployed evenly, about 500 metres from shore, along a 11.5km stretch of coast.

The community will also have its say on the locations for new satellite-link receivers in the Capes region, as part of the extended Shark Monitoring Network recently announced by the Fisheries Minister.

These receivers will detect tagged sharks in the vicinity of a satellite-linked receiver and provide real-time information to ocean users and authorities.

This information is uploaded to the activity map and the Surf Life Saving WA Twitter feed.

SMART drum line. Image supplied.

SMART drum line. Image supplied.

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said his priority was to ensure the non-lethal SMART drum line trial was well-managed and transparent, which is why he invited the community to have their say.

Mr Kelly said the department had identified two options for the configuration of the non-lethal SMART  drum line trial and several options for the new satellite-linked receivers.  

“When online consultation concludes on October 10, the Department will assess the feedback and make a recommendation about the trial design,” he said.

“We want to have the non-lethal SMART drum lines in the water as soon as possible, however we won’t be repeating the mistakes of the previous government and cut corners.

“Rather than have the chaos and secrecy that surrounded the Barnett’s Government’s lethal drumline trial in 2014, we want to make sure that this is a well-planned and transparent non-lethal trial.” 

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said NSW have been using these drum lines so the government should be seeking their advice, if they need any.

Ms Mettam said the fisheries minister had previously stated he would not implement any mitigation measures unless they were based on science.

“Why change now?” she said.

“The decisions on the configuration of the smart drum lines should be determined by science and the measures that will prioritise public safety, rather than public opinion.

“I find it extraordinary that the government is surveying the people on the configuration of these drum lines, whether they are clusters or form a straight line, this should be based on science, utilising the advice from our chief scientist, and best practice.

“It would be more worthy implementing this program before next year and getting feedback after the drum lines have been implemented.”