Drumline trial hooks 15 sharks off Kiama, Ulladulla

Fifteen sharks have been caught during a six-month trial of ten SMART drumlines off South Coast beaches.

Ten drumlines were deployed daily, weather permitting, by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) off beaches between Shell Cove and Kiama. Another 10 were trialled from Ulladulla to Narrawallee.

Ten sharks were caught, tagged and released at Kiama – nine tiger sharks and one white shark.

Five sharks (three whites and two tigers) were tagged off Ulladulla.

DPI Fisheries deputy director general Geoff Allan said the drumline research provided “important insight” into shark movements and behaviours.

Researchers are alerted when a shark takes the SMART (Shark Management Alert in Real Time) drumline’s baited hook. The sharks are tagged and released one kilometre off shore, then tracked using satellite and listening stations.

Dr Allan said initial findings from the trial suggested “once tagged, the sharks then stay in deeper offshore waters for up to four weeks before rejoining their counterparts in their general movements north and south.”