Shark attacks are still rare in Australia, but they're happening enough for the government to take action.
BBC News is reporting that the New South Wales government will being testing drones with GPS technology Wednesday to track sharks in the hopes of possibly reducing the number of attacks and keeping beaches safer, altogether. They're pledging $11 million toward the effort.
The trial period will have drones set up between Sydney and Brisbane off the coast of Coffs Harbour, providing real-time video feedback of sharks swimming in shallow waters and alerting swimmers to be more aware. This comes after Shelly Beach in the Ballina section of Australia was closed earlier this year after a surfer was killed by a shark.
"There is no easy way to reduce risks for swimmers and surfers," Niall Blair, NSW minister for primary industries, said in a statement released by the NSW to the BBC. "We are delivering on a commitment to test the best science available, including new technologies, as we try to find a long term-term solution to keep our beaches safe."
As part of the testing period, a smart drum line will also be installed at Ballina, being used to immediately signal to officials when a shark latches onto a baited hook and is caught. Blair told the BBC these lines are more humane than other lines currently being used to catch sharks in places like Western Australia and Queensland.
If this GPS-embedded drone technology could prevent even one shark attack, it's worth the time, money and overall effort.