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Shark-detecting sonar system being tested in Byron Bay

Bull shark © Terry Goss



Shark Updates

Sonar (if working) offers an alternative to shark nets and shark culls

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 September, 2015 - In response to increasing shark attacks Australian inventor Ric Richardson, Lara Alberd and researcher Kirra Pendergast have begun testing a new shark sonar technology reports ABC.Net

In the face of recent attacks many residents have re-opened the debate on shark culls and redeploying shark nets, both of which anger environmentalists and much of the surfing public.

Kirra Pendergast said the passive sonar devices they were testing were "listening" devices that wouldn't interfere with marine creatures like dolphins and whales, as opposed to "active" sonar devices which emit a ping.

Ms Pendergast said the testing phase would look at how different ocean animals and elements, such as crashing waves, show up on sonar.

"We're testing sonar devices to see what a shark looks like on a sonar device,” Pendergast told ABC. “So we're heading out to the Julian Rocks where there's a lot of grey nurse sharks at the moment to see what they look like and hopefully have a baby whale swim underneath and we can determine what each of them look like on different sonar devices," Ms Pendergast said.

Australian inventor Ric Richardson said when a Byron Bay man was killed by a shark while swimming just in front of a beachside cafe last year it was a huge shock.

"There's a lot of emotion surrounding it at the moment, which means that you're seeing the dark side of the issue and you're not seeing reasonable, let's-try-and-solve-this-problem side of things” Mr Richardson told ABC.

"But the reality is that it's something that really needs to get fixed, so I decided to jump in and try to make sure it happens sooner rather than later."

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