It’s one thing to have an idea, it’s a whole other thing to actually put it into practice and prove it’s use and capability.  The Team at Shark Mitigation Systems have just done that with their “Clever Buoy” trial.

We’ve all seen the tragic stories of shark attacks on Australia’s coastline, some fatal, some inflicting shocking wounds and some near misses.  Then comes the debate about how to prevent them from happening.

Fixed-wing aircraft patrols, drones flown by the local beach patrol, shark nets, and in the extreme shark culls – these are the types of ideas which come up almost immediately following any attack.

CB Bondi Beach

Over in Pert, Aussie company Shark Mitigation Systems have been beavering away on their “Clever Buoy” and they’ve just completed a full scale trial of the device off Sydney’s Bondi Beach.


The trial took place between mid-February and mid-April with a report submitted to the NSW department of Primary Industries.  This is now simple trial, this is what the company calls a “pre-commercialisation” trial.  Basically, if it works, they can start to sell it.

Here’s how it works.

The Clever Buoy floats on the surface with a cable dangling below to a complex bit of kit which can detect sharks.

Not only can it detect them, it uses state of the art sonar to interrogate the object’s swimming pattern to determine the probability of a shark occurrence – if it’s a shark – lifeguards on shore are notified.

The system links back to shore via a mobile signal, in this case the Optus mobile network, and allows early warnings of possible shark movement in the area.


You’d have to admit that it’s immediately ten steps more effective than drones or aerial surveillance – because it’s always on.  If a shark comes while the drone is on the other side of the bay – no luck.

Co-founder Craig Anderson said: “The trial at Bondi Beach was successful across all measures. The trial has validated the stability and robustness of our current Clever Buoy platform to sustainably operate in real-world Australian beach conditions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, autonomously detecting and alerting the presence of large sharks that could be a threat to beach users.

“Following this successful trial, beachgoers in many parts of Australia and indeed in other countries can now look forward to safer beaches as we move to deploy this technology in response to the growing demand.”

Sounds like a bloody great idea to me.