$8 million boost for WA’s scientific shark hazard mitigation strategy

Media Statement
Government of Western Australia

12. April 2019

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  • Additional $8 million committed for shark hazard mitigation in WA
  • More funding for Surf Life Saving WA helicopter, drone, beach and jet ski patrols
  • Over the next two years more than $12 million to be spent on keeping WA beaches safe 

The McGowan Government will invest $12.7 million over the next two years towards its comprehensive shark hazard mitigation strategy to continue to help keep water users safe at iconic Western Australian beaches.

The McGowan Labor Government’s 2019-20 State Budget, set to be handed down on May 9, includes an additional $8 million on top of the $4.7 million already funded for shark hazard mitigation initiatives.

The funding boost will see Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) helicopter, drone, beach and jet ski patrols continue at metropolitan beaches and popular South-West beaches from September to April each year for the next two years.

The extra funding will also go towards other shark hazard mitigation initiatives including WA’s world-leading Shark Monitoring Network (SMN) and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development tagging operations.

Since 2017-18, the McGowan Government has committed more than $28.6 million in helping keep Western Australians and visitors safe at the beach.

The McGowan Government’s comprehensive shark hazard mitigation strategy includes:

  • A world-first personal shark deterrent subsidy for divers and surfers who purchase approved, scientifically proven devices. Almost 3,500 Western Australians have now purchased a device through this program;
  • A $3.84 million scientific trial of non-lethal SMART drumline technology off Gracetown;
  • Beach Emergency Numbers (BEN) signs to help streamline emergency responses to beach incidents;
  • SLSWA helicopter, drone, beach and jet ski patrols to keep a watchful eye over water users;
  • A partnership with Surfing WA to deliver free first aid to surfers and increase drone and jet ski surveillance for WA surf events;
  • Beach enclosures;
  • An extended Shark Monitoring Network to Esperance and the Capes region;
  • An Independent Scientific Advisory Panel on Sharks to provide expert advice to the State Government on new mitigation technologies and research on white sharks; and
  • Improved information for water users with a refreshed Sharksmart website and the development of a new SharkSmart app.  

Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:

“Western Australia’s beaches are some of the best in the world and with our comprehensive shark hazard mitigation we are helping to keep our coastline as safe as possible.

“The McGowan Government is doing more than any government before, we’re doing more patrols, investing in more research and trialling more technology.

“Our comprehensive shark hazard mitigation strategy has something for all water users to help reduce their chance of a shark interaction.

“Our commitment of $12.7 million over the next two years highlights our commitment to scientific, evidence based shark hazard mitigation strategies.”

Source: Government of Western Australia


  1. Ruth van Doren

    Would like to know what the scientifically approved shark deterrent devices are. I purchased a shark ankle device for swimming in Hawaii, but never was sure it was effective. Thanks, Ruth 

  2. Craig Will

    Mainly, the Shark Shield/ Ocean Guardian devices. Two of the ankle devices developed in Hawaii recently failed a test. Main researcher is Charlie Huveneers at Flinders univ. google him.

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