Department of Fisheries, Western Australia
26. November 2017
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- Subsidy funding doubled with an additional $200,000 allocated for a further 1,000 devices
- UWA research found that the approved device deterred white sharks in nine out of 10 occasions
- All shark sightings should be reported to Water Police on 9442 8600
Western Australians have embraced the McGowan Government’s world-first trial shark deterrent subsidy with the first 977 rebates claimed within six months.
The trial subsidy, which began on May 26, 2017, was originally for 1,000 independently verified devices, but given the popularity of the program, Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has doubled the funding to allow for an additional 1,000 rebates.
This means people can continue to access the $200 rebates available through retail outlets, who sell the approved shark deterrent device. Details on how the scheme works are available via the SharkSmart website at http://www.sharksmart.com.au.
SharkSmart is also the place to go to for people to be informed about alerts, tagged shark detections, reported shark sightings and safety tips, as people plan Christmas holiday activities.
The Government urges all water users to help each other by reporting all shark sightings to Water Police on 9442 8600. This will ensure that SharkSmart and the Surf Life Saving WA Twitter service can alert the community and that beach managers can close beaches, if necessary.
Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:
“The demand we have seen since the world-first subsidy came into place in late May, proves it is popular with the community.
“Given the overwhelming support from the public, it’s time the Liberal and National members stop playing politics and support this successful subsidy.
“The Shark Shield FREEDOM7 can be used by both surfers and divers, and university research shows the device works nine out of 10 times against white sharks.
“As a result of the introduction of the subsidy there are a number of other devices that are currently being independently tested, including devices that are specifically marketed at surfers.
“If these devices are independently verified and proven to be effective in deterring white sharks, then they will also be included in the subsidy program.”
Source: Government of Western Australia