NEW observation towers, public education, and shark deterrent technologies will be the first lines of defence against shark attacks on the Northern Rivers, the State Government says.
In a statement, Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said DPI and CSIRO scientists yesterday tagged two great white sharks, kicking off an operation off the Northern Rivers coast that was expected to take about two weeks.
The sharks tagged yesterday were both female and about 2.2 metres long and the department has released video footage of one of the sharks returning to the ocean after tagging.
"This program will provide vital information about sharks and their movements on the North Coast - the more information we have, the better equipped we are to implement measures to reduce the risk of further attacks," Mr Blair said.
While the tagging was expected to take about a fortnight, results from the operation are not expected for at least another year.
However, the Government had some immediate measures in mind too.
"We are determined to make our beaches safer that's why we are investing $250,000 in a suite of measures, including this crucial research program, a review of new technologies and a targeted awareness campaign," he said.
Mr Blair said the government would soon launch a "comprehensive public education campaign, in partnership with Surf Lifesaving NSW". It was also fast-tracking approvals for observation towers and expected the results of a review of shark deterrent technologies in about a month.
The measures, including the tagging program, follows a series of attacks on swimmers and surfers on the Northern Rivers, including two fatalities and two hospitalisations.
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