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Australia to protect its beaches with shark drones

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"What, you mean..."

No, not sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads - shark drones.

Australia's New South Wales (NSW) government has announced that beach goers are to be protected from sharks with a range of new technology - including shark drones and "smart" drum lines.

The drones will operate above the water (rather than swimming about like robotic Jaws horrors), feeding images back to their operators looking for the shadow of sharks under the water. Once identified and located with GPS, they'll be able to warn relevant beaches to clear the waters.

The drum lines will feature bated hooks, that will alert officials the moment a shark has taken an investigative chomp.

It's hoped that this technology, along with spotters in helicopters, will help reduce the growing number of attacks that have taken place on NSW beaches in the past 12 months. 

"There is no easy way to reduce risks for swimmers and surfers," NSW minister for primary industries Niall Blair, said in a statement. "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."

So long as it doesn't prompt a contemporary Jaws reboot ("We're going to need a bigger drone"), we're happy. 

[Via: BBC/ABC]

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