Sharks come closer to shore during the annual salmon run

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At this time of the year sharks come close to shore chasing salmon schools. Picture: Chris White

IN April there can be big schools of Australian salmon chasing baitfish close to shore and potentially larger predators following the salmon on WA’s South Coast and along the South West Coast.

Salmon aggregations are a known attractant to sharks, so they may be present closer to shore during the annual salmon run and recreational fishers are encouraged to bleed their catches away from the water’s edge and to discard fish waste responsibly and well away from swimmers and other water users.

With school holidays fast approaching and Easter on the way, there’ll be many families making getaways this April in Western Australia.

People heading for coastal areas are advised to switch on their Sea Sense when they head to the beach.

It’s also handy to have your SharkSmart WA app with you, so you can access shark sighting reports or tagged shark detections for the beach you’re visiting.

The SharkSmart WA app also has a quick link to call Water Police on 9442 8600 to report any shark sightings.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development shark operations manager Dean Clarke said remembering to stay safe in the ocean had always been the best advice.

Mr Clarke urged surfers and divers to protect themselves with a personal shark deterrent device.

WA residents have access to a $200 rebate to purchase an approved device under a world first subsidy program

“If you haven’t already received a rebate, there are now three eligible devices that have been scientifically proven to reduce your risk of interaction with a white shark,’’ he said.

“The aerial shark patrols by Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) will be operating daily during the school holidays and over Easter to watch over Perth metro and popular South West beaches.

“At locations with no beach patrol services, follow the direction of the SLSWA Westpac life saver rescue helicopter when its alarm siren has sounded.

“This means they’ve spotted a potential shark threat.

“Leave the water immediately.

“Before entering the water, always check your SharkSmart WA app, the SharkSmart website or the SLSWA Twitter service for shark activity information, including reports from aerial patrols.”