Swimmers and surfers in Coffs Harbour may have noticed a drone seemingly filming them on Wednesday.
Far from snapping a few cheeky bikini shots, the drone is searching for sharks, feeding images back to a NSW Government operator in real time.
Shark-hunting drones are the latest part of the State Government's $16 million shark mitigation strategy, brought about by a string of devastating attacks on the mid north coast including a man who was bitten by a shark this month in East Ballina.
Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said the drones were raised at a world shark summit at Taronga Zoo in September this year and would be tested in a world first.
“There is no easy way to reduce risks for swimmers and surfers," Blair told reporters on the Mid North Coast.
“These are the first of several trials that will get underway across the state’s beaches this summer as we take an integrated approach to working out a long-term solution.”
The State Government is also going to trial non-lethal baited drum lines from next week while underwater 'listening stations' will be installed to detect one of the 14 white sharks that have been tagged.
A large shark at Evans Head. Picture: AIR T&G HELICOPTER SERVICES / Fairfax Media
While the drones are just being trialed in Coffs Harbour, helicopters will monitor Byron Bay to Evans Head from December 1.