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A smarter approach to shark mitigation in WA waters

A smarter approach to shark mitigation in WA waters

13 May 2017
  • Election commitment for a shark deterrent subsidy delivered
  • Shark monitoring network extended to Esperance 
  • Election commitment for Beach Emergency Numbering grants delivered
  • Funding provided to the City of Mandurah for beach enclosure at Falcon Beach
  • Aerial and beach patrols funded after former government left budget black hole 

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly today unveiled a new multi-faceted shark mitigation strategy that included the State Government’s pre-election pledge to provide a subsidy trial for independently verified personal shark deterrent devices.

The McGowan Labor Government’s new policy has a strong focus on using new technologies to provide additional protection for those at most risk, surfers and divers.

The new approach includes:

  • $200,000 for a trial rebate of $200 for 1,000 independently verified devices for the State’s most vulnerable water users - surfers and divers. This rebate will be available from May 26, 2017. For more information, visit www.sharksmart.com.au
  • Grants for local councils to install Beach Emergency Numbering signs, a coding system designed to improve emergency response times. Regional councils can apply for grants of up to $50,000 and metropolitan councils can apply for grants up to $25,000. Funding will be available from 2017-18. Further details will be released following consultation with the Western Australian Local Government Association;
  • Surf Life Saving WA to use drones to monitor beaches, following on from a successful trial in 2016;
  • Two VR4 receivers to detect tagged sharks deployed at Esperance. The locations of these receivers will be determined following community consultation over the coming weeks; and
  • $200,000 for the City of Mandurah to install a beach enclosure at Falcon Beach.

The McGowan Labor Government this week also committed funds to ensure Surf Life Saving WA could continue aerial and beach patrols after the former Liberal National Government failed to allocate appropriate funding beyond June 30, 2017. 

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:

“During the election, we committed to using new technologies to provide greater protection for surfers and divers who are most at risk of a shark attack. 

“As a result, today we are announcing the details of a trial subsidy scheme for independently verified shark repellent technology. 

“A total of 13 out of 15 victims of fatal shark attacks in WA since 2000 have been surfers or divers. Faced with these facts, providing these water users with additional protection makes the most sense. 

“We also promised to offer financial assistance to local councils who wish to introduce emergency response signs along beaches with public access. Today, we deliver on that promise too. 

“In light of recent incidents, we are extending our shark monitoring network to Esperance through the deployment of two real time shark detection receivers.  

“The McGowan Government is serious about helping reduce the threat of shark attacks by making best use of science-based new technology.”

Media contact: Alyesha Anderson 0447 462 589 or 6552 6100

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