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Shark hazard mitigation strategies.
Read More about Shark hazard mitigation strategies
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.
Western Australian Government06 November 2013
The Western Australian Government has implemented a number of 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.
The Government has invested more than $33 million in a broad range of shark hazard mitigation strategies, and continues to commit to initiatives such as helicopter and beach patrols, science, education and awareness, emerging technologies, and beach enclosures.
In 2017, the Government has a renewed focus on effective measures to reduce the likelihood of a shark attack occurring, by providing additional protection for those at most risk. These measures include a trial rebate for independently verified personal shark deterrents, funding for a Beach Emergency Numbers system, the use of drones to support helicopter and beach patrols, and extending the Shark Monitoring Network to Esperance. In addition, the former Serious Threat guidelines have been amended and drum lines will no longer be set pre-emptively, or automatically deployed in response to shark incidents. The Deputy Director General, Sustainability and Biosecurity of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development may however, issue an order to take a shark in exceptional circumstances.
WATER SAFETY AND PROTECTIVE MEASURES
- $3.3 million a year for Surf Life Saving WA for aerial and beach patrol and surveillance programs, including:
- Helicopter patrols covering metropolitan beaches for 221 days of the year.
- Daily helicopter patrols over South West beaches from November to February.
- Funding to purchase, and maintain jet skis and improve swimmer evacuation when a shark is sighted.
- Drones to monitor beaches, following on from a successful trial at a number of metropolitan and regional beaches between November 2016 and January 2017.
- $200,000 for a trial rebate of $200 for 1,000 independently verified personal deterrent devices for the State’s most vulnerable water users – surfers and divers. Given the popularity of the trial subsidy, an additional 1,000 rebates were annouced in November 2017.
- Grants for local councils to install the Beach Emergency Numbers system, a coding system designed to improve emergency response times. Funding will be available from 2017-18.
- $1.4 million towards six beach enclosures following on from a successful trial at Old Dunsborough in 2014. Five current enclosures include Old Dunsborough, Busselton, Middleton Beach (Albany), Sorrento Beach and Quinns Beach. Funding has also been committed for the City of Mandurah to install a beach enclosure at Falcon Beach.
- $175,000 for two surveillance towers at Cottesloe Beach to help lifesavers better monitor swimmers.
- 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.
SCIENCE AND RESEARCH
- Research projects including a correlation study, a study of white shark population numbers, and an evaluation of beach netting as a possible mitigation strategy.
- A seven-year shark monitoring research program on movements of white sharks off the Western Australian coast.
- $1.9 million for innovative applied research projects overseen by the Chief Scientist.
- $500,000 towards a trial of the Clever Buoy sonar shark detection and notification system at City Beach. The trial was conducted through summer until 31 March 2017, and a review is underway.
- A dedicated Shark Response Unit to respond to shark incidents and work with other agencies to improve warning notifications and responses.
- Clear public information on shark hazards. All tagged shark detections and reported shark sightings are transmitted automatically to beach responders and posted publicly.
- 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.
- Amended Serious Threat guidelines. Drum lines will no longer be set pre-emptively, or automatically deployed in response to shark incidents.
- A community awareness and engagement program.
- Legislative changes to ban activities such as caged diving, which may change the behaviour of sharks.
- Drum line trial at 8 popular WA beach sites from January to April 2014. This program was discontinued, and no permanent drumlines are deployed off the WA coast.