Subsidy for shark deterrent for surfers

The Ocean Guardian Surf+ personal shark deterrent will allow surfers to take protection with them including to The Spot, which is not part of the shark monitoring network. File picture

SURFERS are being encouraged to take advantage of a personal shark deterrent said to reduce the risk of interaction with a great white shark by at least 60 per cent.

The device means surfers can take the device with them to places such as The Spot, which according to a post on the wannaSurf website has a great winter-time wave.

The state government’s shark monitoring network and funding for beach emergency number signs do not extend to Yanchep beaches.

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has urged surfers to consider buying the new surfer specific device, which from can be bought through the McGowan Government’s personal shark deterrent subsidy.

Mr Kelly said the Ocean Guardian’s Surf+ device was tested and proven by Flinders University in extreme circumstances – chummed and baited waters in a known shark aggregation area – to reduce the risk of interaction with a great white shark by at least 60 per cent.

He said in more normal surfing conditions, the device was likely to produce an even higher level of deterrence.

Western Australians can now access a $200 rebate through retailers who sell the newly approved shark deterrent device and are registered with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

The release of the surf device, follows on last year’s launch of a subsidy for another device – the Ocean Guardian FREEDOM7 – primarily used by divers.

Mr Kelly said more than 1700 Western Australians had bought the device.

“The rebate forms just one facet of the McGowan Government’s comprehensive shark mitigation strategy,’’ he said.

“Other measures include more than $7 million in funding for Surf Life Saving WA beach, helicopter and drone patrols, expanding the shark monitoring network to Esperance, tagging programs, funding for beach emergency number signs and funding for a swimming enclosure at Falcon.’’

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