Australian first keeps waterways clean

A new species of shark is lurking in the waters near Cockle Bay Wharf, feasting on a diet of plastics, metal and floating debris.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes today introduced the WasteShark to Australian waters for the first time, a 1.5 metre aquadrone that will clean litter from the sea.

"Everyone wants a safe and sparkling harbour and I'm delighted to welcome the latest weapon in the war on waste," Mr Stokes said.

"The WasteShark can devour up to 160 kgs in one sitting - including plastics, vegetation, floating debris, chemicals, marine fuels and oils that shouldn't be in our waterways.

"Along with cleaning our waters, the WasteShark will collect and store valuable data on water quality.

"This is an environmentally-friendly solution to cleaning our waterways, powered by battery and emitting zero emissions."

Placemaking NSW Chief Executive Anita Mitchell said the WasteShark was developed in the Netherlands and would begin devouring prey from this week.

"Swimming through enclosed waters autonomously or under remote control, it can remove rubbish while scanning and monitoring the health of the marine environment, sending data on water conditions back to a central command via the cloud," Ms Mitchell said.

"It gathers air and water quality data, filters chemicals such as oil, arsenic, and heavy metals and scans the seabed to read its depth and contours.

"We're excited to see the WasteShark set sail as an innovative, safe and efficient way to continue to keep Cockle Bay clean."

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