The effectiveness of Shark-Management-Alert-in-Real-Time (SMART) drumlines as a tool for catching white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, off coastal New South Wales, Australia
Fisheries Management and Ecology
White (Carcharodon carcharias L.), bull (Carcharhinus leucas, Müller & Henle) and tiger (Galeocerdo cuvier, Péron & Lesueur) sharks are the primary species responsible for unprovoked shark bites. Historically, management practices were based on culling “target” shark species (i.e. white, bull and tiger sharks), which resulted in high levels of bycatch and mortality. Shark-Management-Alert-in-Real-Time (SMART) drumlines were trialled in New South Wales, Australia, aiming to optimise the capture of target shark species while minimising bycatch and mortality. Target shark species accounted for 70% of the total catch, with white sharks contributing 298 of the 350 sharks that were caught. Four animals died, and bycatch consisted of 13 species including two threatened species. Generalised linear mixed models (GLMMs) revealed a significant spatial, temporal, environmental and gear influence on white shark catch rates. SMART drumlines are a useful tool for catching target shark species with low bycatch and mortality relative to historical bather protection methods.
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NSW Department of Primary Industries