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New app to help swimmers avoid sharks

New app to help swimmers avoid sharks
January 31, 2015

NSW beachgoers can now easily learn more about avoiding sharks thanks to a new mobile app developed by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI).

Launching the initiative, NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson explained that the app is based on the existing DPI SharkSmart program, and provides swimmers, surfers and beachgoers with some simple tips about how to reduce their risk of an encounter with a shark.

Minister Hodgkinson stated “the SharkSmart app ensures information is at the fingertips of the public to inform them about sharks, their habitat and nature.

“Available free on iPhones via the App Store, this app provides an interactive tool to help reduce risks by choosing safer behaviours, including avoiding swimming and surfing when it is dark or during twilight hours, and avoiding murky water.

“The app helps beach-goers find and choose a safer swimming beach by providing a map page showing beaches where the Shark Meshing (Bather Protection) Program operates.

“General information about common shark species, their biology and characteristics can also be found in a user-friendly format.”

Like any app, the SharkSmart app will continue to be developed and updated as more data becomes available.

The Minister added “there are no 100% guarantees when entering the ocean, but the NSW Government will continue doing all it can to reduce the risk for swimmers and ensure they have an enjoyable summer.” Ms Hodgkinson said.

Click here to download the SharkSmart app, or search iTunes for SharkSmart.

For more information go to www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/info/sharksmart

Image courtesy of Sydney Institute of Marine Science.

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