Chief Scientist to review data retrieved from SMART drumline trial

Media Release

Department of Fisheries, Western Australia

09. March 2020

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  • ​State Government’s non-lethal SMART drumline trial reaches 12-month milestone
  • The trial will continue to collect new scientific data over next three months
  • Data from the State Government’s non-lethal SMART drumline trial off Gracetown is being collected as the trial reaches the 12-month mark. 

The scientific trial to catch, tag and relocate white sharks commenced in February 2019 for a period of 15 months to assess the effectiveness of the drumline technology in reducing the risk of shark attacks.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is currently retrieving the 240 sea-bed VR2 receivers containing the first 12 months of data, tracking the movement of tagged sharks in the trial.

Data downloaded from the receivers, along with information from the pop up Satellite Archival Tags, will be provided to Chief Scientist Peter Klinken to form part of his independent assessment into the effectiveness of the trial.

Replacement sea-bed VR2 receivers are in place to capture additional data from the drumline trial over the next three months.

During the first 12 months, the SMART drumlines caught two target species – white sharks -in April and August and 146 non-target sharks including tiger sharks and bronze whalers.

The Chief Scientist’s report will assist the State Government in making a science-based assessment of the potential application of SMART drumlines in Western Australia.

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley:

“Reaching the 12-month mark of the SMART drumline trial is a significant milestone, however, trial operations and data collection will continue as normal.

“Western Australia has one of the most comprehensive shark mitigation strategies in the country, ensuring we have the information we need to enjoy the water safely.

“The non-lethal drumline trial is part of this strategy, and I look forward to receiving the Chief Scientists’ report.”

Source: Government of Western Australia

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