Concept Introduction

Statewide Bait Fish Monitoring Program

Overview

Programs designed to protect swimmers from feeding sharks will never provide a 100% guarantee.

However understanding why sharks attack and developing systems to minimize these attacks will significantly increase swimmer safety.

For far too long we have relied on an ineffective barbaric and severely limited culling program that provides little protection for swimmers and has a devastating effect on our marine life.

Fact:   most attacks occur when a swimmer wanders into the path of a feeding shark.

So how can we minimize the risk?

We know it’s almost impossible to see sharks from the beach and aerial surveillance will miss many of the sharks entering swimming areas

Unfortunately once a swimmer is in the water it is generally too late to prevent an attack, even if you do spot the shark.

With the ever-increasing number of shark attacks accruing. We need to develop a wider ranging system to designed to protect swimmers even in the most remote locations

The most effective way of protecting swimmers comes down to our ability to identify where feeding sharks are likely to interact with swimmers.

Surfwatch Australia has developed an early warning shark risk, assessment and pre warning program, designed to track the shark’s food source covering every beach and swimming location in Australia.

Concept Introduction

Statewide Bait Fish Monitoring Program

(1) To implement and deliver an effective preemptive shark risk notification service deliverable to all surf clubs throughout NSW. 

(2) To compile real time data on the type, size and location of the baitfish schools and whale pods targetted by feeding sharks

(3) To create a data collection and radio reporting centre to log and compile shark risk and feeding data from civil and light commercial pilots throughout NSW.

(4) Surfwatch is creating interactive smartphone apps and websites displaying real time shark risk assessments based on the coastal movements of the whales and baitfish. Information freely available to every Australian.

(5)Toprintanddistributeaninformationleaflettoallcivilaircraft pilots and operators in NSW

Overview

Programs designed to protect swimmers from feeding sharks will never provide a 100% guarantee.
However understanding why sharks attack and developing systems to minimize these attacks will significantly

increase swimmer safety.
For far too long we have relied on an ineffective barbaric and severely limited culling program that provides little protection for swimmers and has a devastating effect on our marine life.

Fact: most attacks occur when a swimmer wanders into the path of a feeding shark.

So how can we minimize the risk?

We know it’s almost impossible to see sharks from the beach and aerial surveillance will miss many of the sharks entering swimming areas

Unfortunately once a swimmer is in the water it is generally too late to prevent an attack, even if you do spot the shark.

With the ever-increasing number of shark attacks accruing. We need to develop a wider ranging system to designed to protect swimmers even in the most remote locations

The most effective way of protecting swimmers comes down to our ability to identify where feeding sharks are likely to interact with swimmers.

Surfwatch Australia has developed an early warning shark risk, assessment and pre warning program, designed to track the shark’s food source covering every beach and swimming location in Australia.

“The Civil Aircraft Reporting Program”

The program titled “The Civil Aircraft Reporting Program” utilizes the existing infrastructure provided by the hundreds of light aircraft who circumnavigate our coastline every day.

By enlisting the aid of these pilots and providing them with a dedicated radio frequency to report sightings of the baitfish and the whale pods targetted by feeding sharks.

By utilizing this data, Surfwatch can
compile an unprecedented database to accurately predict where and when sharks are likely to pose a risk to swimmers.

For example If we know large schools of baitfish are congregating off Bondi beach at 10am and we can see these fish are moving north, we can release up to 6 daily reports showing the real time movements of the fish and whales likely to draw sharks into the area.

Beaches up and down the line can
access this information allowing each beach to preplan for possible shark incursions in their area.
By knowing when and where sharks are lifesavers and beachgoers can make informed decisions based on accurate data that will save lives.

This preemptive information would be available to every beach in Australia.
Making this information available nation wide will provide both lifesavers and swimmers with vital risk assessment information and substantially reduce the risk of swimmers encountering a feeding shark.

Project Funding

Surfwatch needs funding support to implement the program.
I would like to request a obtain a government grant to assist in

(1) Set up the radio and monitoring base to receive and compile the reports

  1. (2)  Cover staff costs for the monitoring center
  2. (3)  Purchase the necessary equipment to operate the service
  3. (4)  Set up the dedicated radio frequency to provide to participating aircraft
  4. (5)  Print and develop the informational literature to distribute to pilots
  5. (6)  Develop and implement smartphone and web services freely available to surf clubs and swimmers

Incentives to support contributing pilots

Participating pilots will receive incentives to participate in the program. With the support of our existing sponsors pilots will receive credits for aviation fuel and accommodation vouchers for every report made insuring a mutual based incentive for their participation in the program.

The preceeding information is a basic overview of the program.
Surfwatch has many of the components already in place and a large pool of pilots and sponsors ready to contribute.

I would like the opportunity to discuss our program with you in the hope we can secure your support to make our beaches safer for the people of New South Whales.
If successful we could dramatically increase swimmer safety and finally end the barbaric culling programs responsible for the suffocation deaths of our marine life.