$900,000 awarded to shark mitigation

Government of Western Australia
Ministerial Media Statement

Friday 7 December 2012


The following statement was issued by Science and Innovation Minister John Day.

  • Research funding part of State Govt’s Shark Hazard Mitigation Strategies
  • Strobe lights and bubble curtains to be explored as shark stoppers
  • Oceans Institute granted more than $442,000 for two projects

Four leading academic institutes have been awarded more than $900,000 in the first round of research funding as part of the State Government’s Shark Hazard Mitigation Strategies.

Science and Innovation Minister John Day said four contenders from a strong and impressive field of applicants had been awarded research funding.

“After detailed consideration, recipients have been selected and the range and diversity of their research programs clearly shows the significant work being done in Western Australia to try and minimise the risk of shark attacks,” Mr Day said.

Two projects led by Professor Shaun Collin and Associate Professor Nathan Hart from the Oceans Institute at The University of Western Australia (UWA) will receive $220,573 and $222,221, respectively, for two unique programs.  Funding is spread across two years.

The amount will go into independently testing and improving existing shark deterrents, including the well-known product Shark Shield.  The second project will explore the innovative use of bubble curtains, strobe lights and sub-aquatic sounds to repel sharks.

Curtin University’s Centre for Marine Science and Technology, one of the world’s biggest university underwater acoustic research groups, will receive $273,468 across three years to investigate sonar imaging for shark detection.

Global computer vision expert, Winthrop professor Mohammed Bennamoun, will lead a team at UWA to develop computer algorithms for the automatic detections of sharks. This project has been awarded $203,234 across three years.

The Minister said the Department of Commerce had established the Shark Hazard Advisory Research Committee (SHARC) chaired by WA’s chief scientist, Professor Lyn Beazley.

“SHARC will bring WA’s best minds to bear in making the State a safer place to enjoy our beautiful coast and oceans,” he said.

Fact File

  • State Govt has provided $2million for research to help keep beachgoers safe
  • Holistic approach undertaken to tackle current situation at swimming beaches
  • Second round of the research program to open mid-2013 
  • More information at:  http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/ScienceInnovation

Minister’s office – 6552 6200

Source: Department of Fisheries, Western Australia


Leave a Reply