Canberra, Nov 26: Australia is set to deploy drones on its beaches to prevent shark attacks, the media reported Thursday.
So far this year, there has been 14 attacks.
The trials for the drones will begin next week as part of a strategy by the New South Wales state government, which will install hi-tech drum lines to allow sharks to be hooked, tagged and released farther out to sea.
The first drones will be deployed off Coffs Harbour, about 530 km (329 miles) north of Sydney, while the first of the drum lines will be installed at Ballina, where a Japanese tourist was killed by a shark in February, and a local surfer was bitten by a bull shark earlier this month.
The trials, using drones and sophisticated drum lines, are part of a five-year strategy against shark attacks and include the use of 4G technology to monitor the movement of sharks and send alerts through mobile phones.
Environmental groups, however, have expressed concern over the drum lines as they threaten dolphins, turtles and other marine animals.