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SMART Drumline Trial Gets Green Light

South West singled out for study

SMART Drumline Trial Gets Green Light

The WA Government will carry out a SMART (Shark-Management-Alert-in-Real-Time) drumline trial in the South West, following months of pressure from the Federal Government.

Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg was behind a push to see the non-lethal devices deployed along the coast, but Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly argued it was a costly plan without thorough scientific backing.

Now, the state will conduct its own study in local conditions to determine if the technology is effective at reducing shark attacks.

Chief Scientist Peter Klinken will be conducting an independent scientific analysis of the trial.

The trial locations will be based around the Gracetown area, where two shark attacks earlier this year led to the cancellation of the nearby Margaret River Pro.

Mr Kelly says the McGowan Government is open to any shark mitigation measure that is backed up by science.

"Unfortunately the information provided by NSW is insufficient, therefore in the best interests of all Western Australians we will conduct our own trial here in WA," he said.

“Consistent with the NSW trial, the WA trial will be a catch, tag, relocate and release program. It is not intended to kill sharks."

It's understood community consultation will be held in Gracetown and surrounds to determine the best deployment sites for the SMART drumlines before the operation gets underway.