In the final moments of the shark’s approach, it veers off in another direction, leaving the surfer unscathed.
The footage is a part of the government’s AU$16-million project to help detect shark activity and deter attacks on bathers and surfers. The drones are flown 60 metres above the ocean in a four-kilometre circuit, providing real-time information and visuals to analysts. Shark sightings and warnings are then posted to Twitter.
Aerial surveillance is just one part of the government’s five-year “Shark Management Strategy” to “increase protection for bathers from shark interactions while minimizing harm to sharks or other animals.”
Other methods include sonar technology and real-time tracking of tagged sharks.
According to the Taronga Conservation Society, NSW has the most recorded shark attacks across Australia in recent years, with eight non-fatal, unprovoked attacks in 2016 alone.