Sunday, August 23, 2009
Military and NSW government adopting high-tech new methods to prevent a repeat of last summer's spate of shark attacks
According to the web page found at http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=853163, "The military and NSW government are adopting high-tech new methods to prevent a repeat of last summer's spate of shark attacks. The NSW Department of Primary Industries will this week introduce a new DNA database designed to further research into shark population, size and movements. It will also begin monitoring shark nets, due to be reinstalled at 51 NSW beaches on September 1, by GPS to help prevent harm to other marine life. A new shark and turtle tagging program is also being started and shark nets will be checked every 3 days rather than every 4. The measures are in direct response to last summer's series of shark attacks in NSW which caused serious injuries to several people." The DPI's measures are contained in a new report outlining attempts to lessen the impact of shark nets on marine life. "Following the shark attack on Paul de Gelder, Navy developed a shark presence planning tool to assess the risk of shark attack and also acquired shark repellent devices," a Defence Department spokesman said. "A review of Navy's diving practices has resulted in the development of a dangerous marine animal risk profile, revised dive planning processes, upgraded medical kits and trauma incident training." Repellents used by the Navy have been tested by Australian divers involved in the recovery of bodies from the recent ferry disaster near Tonga. There were a series of shark attacks in NSW last summer although statistics show the overall number of attacks is falling and experts maintain the risk of attack is tiny. The Australian Shark Attack File, maintained by Taronga Zoo, shows there is an average of 1 fatality from shark attacks per year. Far more people die from drowning every year while swimming or diving."