NEWSPORT DAILY-Dragon Lady to start testing shark deterrents
Soon, apex predators can start circling the boat. “Fishermen haul in their lines and often find nothing or a severed head after the sharks have taken the first bite. This is what we call ‘shark depredation’,” Vardon said.
Over the years, many species of fish have declined on the reef. “While most fish stocks are in good condition, some stocks such as snapper, black jewfish, Spanish mackerel and pearl perch are at risk,” a Fisheries Queensland spokesman said.
On the clear waters, as the Dragon Lady glides over the reef, Adamson is acutely aware of the need to reduce shark depredation, and these devices may provide answers. “We hope to reduce our fish losses by 80% to 50%, hopefully even less.”
The fewer sharks lost, the more fish swimming in the Great Barrier Reef.
Years ago, Adamson read a paper from the University of Western Australia documenting electromagnetic technology research and observed the development of devices such as those to be attached to the Dragon Lady.
Today, the technology has not been tested in Queensland for shark depredation, but aims to emit signals that disrupt and confuse the animal’s sixth sense.
“Surfers use a similar device. They strap a deterrent on their legs and the sharks get confused and let the surfers ride the waves unscathed.
Now, with the grant, the Dragon Lady will test the devices which, if successful, could be adopted by anglers making a small grant and game-changer for the environment.