Swimmer Shark activity map
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Shark hazard mitigation strategies.
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About this website

We’re helping WA get SHARK SMART. We have always enjoyed a beach going lifestyle here in Western Australia, so it’s important to understand the facts about sharks and the hazards they present. This website is put together so West Australians who love to use our amazing coastline – the surfers, swimmers and divers – can continue to do so.

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Western Australian Government

Western Australian Government

06 November 2013

The Western Australian Government has implemented a number of important initiatives to help improve community awareness of shark activity, provide some protection at our most popular beaches and connect the community with safety information so we can all make informed decisions about our water use. 

It has invested more than $33 million in a broad range of shark hazard mitigation strategies, committing over $3.1 million a year to increase helicopter and beach patrols; invested $3.7 million in a world-class shark monitoring system; formed a dedicated Shark Response Unit and passed many key legislative changes to help reduce the risk of shark incidents occurring. 

The Western Australian Government is also undertaking comprehensive research to improve the effectiveness of  interventions and increase  understanding of shark behaviour.


  • $2.4 million a year towards Surf Life Saving WA’s helicopter and beach patrol programs to ensure patrols will cover metropolitan beaches for 221 days of the year and daily flights over South West beaches from November to February.
  • $2.6 million to extend aerial patrols in the South West outside peak season to 2017/18.
  • $175,000 for two surveillance towers at Cottesloe Beach to help lifesavers better monitor swimmers.
  • A dedicated Shark Response Unit to respond to shark incidents and work with other agencies to improve warning notifications and responses.
  • Research projects including a correlation study, a study of white shark population numbers, and an evaluation of beach netting as a possible mitigation strategy.
  • $3.7 million for shark tagging and tracking. The world-class shark monitoring network provides almost instant information to response agencies helping them to close beaches when a shark is detected. 
  • A community awareness and engagement program.
  • $1.9 million for innovative applied research projects overseen by the Chief Scientist. 
  • $1.2 million for Surf Life Saving WA to purchase, and maintain jet skis and improve swimmer evacuation when a shark is sighted.
  • $1.2 million towards five beach enclosures in Old Dunsborough, Busselton, Middleton Beach (Albany), Sorrento Beach and Quinns Beach. 
  • $88,000 to enable SLSWA to conduct a trial of drone surveillance at a number of metropolitan and regional beaches between November 2016 and January 2017.
  • $500,000 towards a trial of the Clever Buoy sonar shark detection and notification system at City Beach. The trial will be conducted through summer until 31 March 2017, and may be extended until Easter 2017.
  • Updated guidelines to respond to sharks posing a serious threat to public safety. 
  • Drum line trial at 8 popular WA beach sites from January to April 2014.
  • Legislative changes to ban activities such as caged diving, which may change the behaviour of sharks.
  • Real time shark activity map showing the latest sightings and tagged shark detections, this mapping tool helps beach goers make informed decisions about their water use.

Further information about Western Australian Shark Hazard Mitigation can be viewed here


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