Shark Deterrent Subsidies Help More Than 2,800 Western Australian Surfers

Shark Deterrent Subsidies Help More Than 2,800 Western Australian Surfers

Western Australia Acting Minister for Fisheries Roger Cook

500 More Personal Shark Deterrent Devices For Surfers And Divers Available

Victor P Taffa

  • Subsidies on Western Australia’s world-first personal shark deterrent program expanded
  • An additional $100,000 will deliver 500 more devices to help keep people safe
  • Devices are part of the strategy to bring more sea sense to Western Australia beaches

McGowan Government’s shark deterrent subsidies have helped more than 2,800 Western Australian surfers and divers invest in personal protection for when they take to the ocean this summer.

Acting Fisheries Minister Roger Cook has expanded the program for surfers and divers, with an additional 500 devices added to the program. There are two scientifically verified devices available through the program, providing water users with a choice on the most suitable device for them.

“Personal shark deterrent program has been embraced by surfers and divers with more than 2,800 Western Australians purchasing a scientifically proven device in a little over 18 months.” Acting Minister for Fisheries Roger Cook said.

“Expansion of this world-first subsidy program allows more ocean users to purchase a scientifically proven device with the confidence it will significantly reduce their chance of a shark interaction.”

Western Australians can access a $200 rebate when they purchase either the Surf+ shark deterrent or the FREEDOM7TMused by divers and other water users, from a registered retailer. Both devices have been university tested and proven to significantly reduce the risk of an encounter with a white shark.

Personal shark deterrents form part of the McGowan Government’s comprehensive shark mitigation strategy. Personal deterrents for surfers and divers help Western Australians bring their sea sense to the beach and stay safe. The Sea Sense campaign, launched last month, aims to inform water users how best they can use the strategies in place to help stay safe and enjoy the beach with confidence.

McGowan Government is doing more for shark mitigation than any other government before. Just last month, the Government announced a new SharkSmark app is in development to provide real-time information and alerts direct to mobile devices; an improved SharkSmart website and a new shark activity map for people to make informed decisions before heading to the beach.

Backing that up are enhanced helicopter and drone patrols; beach enclosures; the Shark Monitoring Network now extended to Esperance and the Capes region; tagging operations; and a SMART drumline trial off Gracetown to start in 2019.