Australia deploys shark-scanning drones to combat series of deadly attacks

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Australia’s state of New South Wales will deploy drones on its beaches to help prevent shark attacks in the world’s largest surveillance program of its kind.

Funding for the state’s shark management initiative was almost tripled to A$21.4 million ($15.6 million), allowing authorities to boost measures to limit attacks, according to a statement on Sunday.

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That includes sending a domestic fleet of drones to the state’s coast this summer, and expanding listening stations and other shark-detection tools under the program.

“There is no other jurisdiction in Australia or across the globe which has done as much testing and trialing of technology and approaches to mitigate shark interactions, the state’s Deputy Premier John Barilaro said.

The number of beaches under the watch of shark-spotting drones will increase to 50 from 34. Surf patrol guards at some of Sydney’s iconic beaches have also used aerial drones to ensure social distancing during the pandemic.

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