Swimmer Shark activity map
Staying safe

Common sense tips here.
Read more about staying safe


Frequently asked questions here.
Read more about separating the fact from fiction

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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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State Government

State Government

06 November 2013

The State Government has launched a number of important initiatives to 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. Our aim? To help you keep enjoying our beaches…safely. 

In response to heightened community concern over shark attacks, the State Government has allocated more than $28 million for shark hazard mitigation strategies. We’ve committed over $2.4 million a year to increase helicopter and beach patrols; invested $2 million in a world-class shark monitoring system; launched a dedicated Shark Response Unit and passed many key legislative changes to help reduce the risk of shark incidents occurring. 

We’re also undertaking comprehensive research to improve the effectiveness of our interventions and to deepen our understanding of shark behaviour.

Our commitment

  • $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.
  • $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.
  • $2 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. In the long term, research data will help us understand the movements of white sharks off our coast. 
  • A community awareness and engagement program.
  • $1.9 million for innovative applied research projects overseen by the Chief Scientist. 
  • $1.2. for Surf Life Saving WA to purchase, and maintain jet skis and improve swimmer evacuation when a shark is sighted.
  • $200,000 for a feasibility study and trial of a beach enclosure in Dunsborough.
  • Protocols to allow a shark considered a serious threat to be destroyed if public safety is compromised. 
  • Introduction of baited drum lines at 8 popular WA beach sites from January to April 2014.
  • Legislative changes to ban activities such as caged diving, that may change the behaviour of sharks.
  • $200,000 for an additional beach enclosure in Busselton.
  • $400,000 in 2015/16 for two additional beach enclosures. 
  • Extended aerial patrols of the South West for 2014/15.
  • Extended aerial patrols of the South West for a further three years to 2018.
  • 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.

An infographic showing the Shark Hazard Mitigation Program. Information is valid as of November 2014

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