SYDNEY, April 7 (Xinhua) -- The New South Wales State Government in Australia has announced Friday it will be taking to the skies to combat shark attacks this Easter holidays.
The New South Wales Department of Primary Industries will be recommencing helicopter patrols on Sydney beaches, as well as the rest of the state's 2137 Kilometer coastline.
"Over the summer our shark spies were very effective at spotting any potential dangers and on 78 occasions, assisted local authorities and NSW Police to evacuate the water," New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said.
"We know sharks are part of our natural environment and no single measure can control them, but aerial surveillance provides extra reassurance and can help reduce the risk."
The initiative is part of the state government's 16 million Australian dollar (12 million U.S. dollars) Shark Management Strategy which also involves a tagging program, drum line traps and other monitoring equipment.
In 2016, there were 26 shark attacks in Australia with the majority occurring in New South Wales.
To reduce the chances of falling prey to a shark, Australian authorities recommend beachgoers avoid swimming at dusk, in murky waters, after recent heavy rain and in areas used by local fisherman.
"We want to ensure our beaches are as safe as they can be across these school holidays," Blair said.