Yanchep, Gingin surfers eligible for shark deterrent subsidy

Since 2000, 13 of the 15 fatal shark attack victims in Western Australia have been surfers or divers. File picture

YANCHEP and Gingin surfers and divers can benefit from a rebate scheme for personal shark deterrents which started on Friday, May 26.

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said the trial subsidy delivered on the McGowan Labor Government’s election commitment to protect water users who are most at risk – surfers and divers.

Since 2000, 13 of the 15 fatal shark attack victims in Western Australia have been surfers or divers.

The trial offers a rebate of $200 for the first 1000 independently verified shark deterrent devices purchased from retailers registered with the Department of Fisheries.

The Shark Shield Freedom 7 is an approved device and is available for the subsidy.

The rebate forms part of a new multi-faceted shark mitigation strategy the government announced earlier this month.

On May 13 Mr Kelly said the McGowan Government was taking a smarter approcah to shark mitigation in WA waters.

Mr Kelly said the new approach included $200,000 for the trial rebate and grants for councils to install beach emergency numbering signs, a coding system designed to improve emergency response times.

Regional councils can apply for grants of up to $50,000 and metropolitan councils can apply for grants up to $25,000.

Funding will be available from 2017-18 with further details to be released following consultation with the Western Australian Local Government Association.

He said the new approach meant Surf Life Saving WA would use drones to monitor beaches, following on from a successful trial in 2016, two VR4 receivers to detect tagged sharks would be deployed at Esperance and the City of Mandurah would get $200,000 to install a beach enclosure at Falcon beach.

Mr Kelly said other devices would be included in the rebate scheme if they received independent verification that proved their effectiveness.

The $200 rebate will be applied at the point of sale.

For more information, including a list of registered retailers, visit http://www.sharksmart.com.au