Shark-spotting drone trial extended on Gold Coast

The state government has announced an extension of shark spotting drones in parts of Queensland, including the Gold Coast.

Trials of the drones have already been in place at various times since September 2020 at Main Beach and Burleigh as well as North Stradbroke Island.

Since then, Surf Lifesaving Queensland has conducted 3,669 drone flights across five Queensland beaches.


They have flown a total of 1,468km and spotted 174 sharks, including 48 sharks that were more than 2 metres in length.

The shark spotting has led to the evacuation of Burleigh Heads and North Stradbroke beaches seven times during the trial.

The state government will invest another $6 million to extend the trial to several more beaches including Kurrawa.

It comes as calls grow louder for shark nets and drum lines to be removed from Queensland beaches because of the threat to whales and other marine life.

A survey as part of the trial found between 83 and 98 per cent of people supported drones as a shark spotting tool in Queensland.

It also found 75 per cent would likely choose a beach where a shark-spotting drone was in use.