Australia has one of the world’s highest rates of shark attacks with 13 so far this year in New South Wales.

NSW has decided against culling sharks and instead put together a five-year plan, including next-generation sonar systems and improved aerial observation.

“We are proud to be the first jurisdiction anywhere in the world to adopt an integrated approach toward keeping our beaches safe,” said Niall Blair, he state’s primary industries minister.

The $16 million plan will see the trial of drones that provide real-time vision, while boosting helicopter surveillance.

The tagging of sharks will be stepped up, sonar detecting buoys arranged and 20 listening stations built at known hot spots using 4G technology to allow tagged sharks to be monitored.

In the future the real-time information will be available to the public on a SharkSmart mobile app.

James Clark