Bondi Beach trialling ‘virtual shark nets’ to save lives

Clever Buoy identifies sharks using sonar before relaying the information back to lifeguards

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A shark detection system is being trialled that can alert lifeguards to their presence via an app.

Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, is testing the technology that uses smart buoys placed in the water.

 The “Clever Buoy” system uses sonar to detect self-propelled objects larger than six foot. Once detected, lifeguards receive realtime alerts through an app, allowing them to immediately sound an alarm and evacuate the water.

The technology hopes to provide a more effective means of preventing shark attacks than the nets, air surveillance and lifeguards currently in place.

Last year saw a record number of shark attacks worldwide, counting 98 incidents. Australia accounted for 18 of those, the most since 2009.

Before that year Bondi Beach had recorded no attacks since 1929.

Primary Industries Minister for New South Wales, Niall Blair, told 9 News of his excitement ahead of the trial.


A sonar device attached to the buoy can identify sharks and immediately relay their presence to the beach

"We think that this has the potential to be the Holy Grail, when it comes to reducing the risk for beachgoers in NSW," Mr Blair said.

New South Wales saw 13 shark attacks last year, one of which was fatal involving a Japanese surfer.

One of Shark Mitigation Systems’ founders, Craig Anderson, who helped design the system said it had a 90 per cent success rate.

"It uses new-age sonar technology, coupled with some software that we've written, to develop what is, for all intents and purposes, a virtual shark net," he said.