Shark-tracking drones over Australian beaches.

Australia’s ABC News has us watching the skies to see shark-tracking flying robots (and drum lines to catch-and-release sharks):

Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair has announced a trial of the high-tech drum lines, which use GPS buoys to alert monitoring staff when sharks have been hooked, so they can be tagged and released in a different area.

The first field test of shark-tracking drones will begin today at Coffs Harbour.

Mr Blair said the high-tech drum lines were more humane than the traditional lines that have been used in Queensland and Western Australia.

“They’re like a baited hook that has technology connected to it so when the bait is taken, a message is sent to our vessels and they’ll attend those lines immediately,” Mr Blair said.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith said while her party was philosophically opposed to traditional drum lines, she was encouraged by the success of trials of the smart drum lines in the Reunion Islands.

She said she would be holding Mr Blair and Mr Baird to their word, that the trial of the drum lines would be transparent and guided by science.