NSW residents can now check their watch to determine the presence of nearby sharks.
The new SharkSmart watch app, launched by the NSW Government last week, will alert swimmers and surfers with a beep when a nearby shark is detected.
Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said the app is a standalone smart watch app.
“This means surfers and other beachgoers can receive real-time in-water alerts on their cellular-enabled watch when a tagged shark is detected by one of our shark listening stations,” he said in a statement.
Beachgoers with watches that don’t have a cellular connection will need to keep their phones close by to ensure their watch is synched with the app.
They can choose to receive alerts within a radius of five to 20 kilometres.
The app will also include other information, such as sharks tagged and released on SMART drumlines, a shark mitigation and research tool, and sharks observed by Surf Life Saving NSW drones.
“By having the latest alerts on their wrist, we hope it will support surfers in making the right call for when and where to surf and when to stay out of the water,” Mr Marshall said.
The app is part of the government’s 2021-2022 Shark Management Program, which has installed 37 listening stations to detect and alert users of the app to the presence of sharks and shark-spotting drones over 50 beaches.
The program has 170 SMART drumlines and 51 shark nets between Newcastle and Wollongong.