Great Southern water users switched on to scientifically proven personal shark deterrents
Media Statement from Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA
- New campaign to encourage more surfers to purchase a scientifically proven personal shark deterrent
- Surfers and divers save $200 with Government rebate
- About 570 surfers among more than 3,700 Western Australians to purchase a device
Regional surfers and divers have switched on to the McGowan Government's world first personal shark deterrent subsidy, with about a third of all rebates claimed in Western Australia purchased by people in regional areas.
Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly has today revealed new statistics, after launching a digital campaign over the weekend to encourage more surfers to take up the McGowan Government's $200 rebate.
The figures show Albany ranks fourth in the top 10 locations in the State for all rebates claimed. In total, water users in the Great Southern have claimed 221 rebates for the scientifically proven personal shark deterrents.
Almost 50 per cent of surf devices in the State have been claimed by surfers aged between 24 and 44 years of age.
The Ocean Guardian FREEDOM+ Surf™ device was tested and proven by Flinders University in extreme circumstances - chummed and baited waters in a known shark aggregation area.
The science showed its electrical field has an effective six metre radius and reduced the risk of a shark interaction with a great white shark by at least 60 per cent. In less extreme surfing conditions, the device is likely to produce an even higher level of deterrence.
Since 2000, 13 of the 15 fatal shark attack victims in WA have been surfers or divers.
The McGowan Government's world-first subsidy program began in May 2017 with the scientifically proven dive device, the Ocean Guardian Freedom7™, and the surf device was added in May 2018 after scientific testing confirmed its effectiveness. Since the program launched, more than 3700 Western Australian water users have purchased a personal shark deterrent through the world-first subsidy scheme.
More information at: https://www.sharksmart.com.au/staying-safe/rebate/
Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly:
"Our beach culture is the best in the world, and we want to continue to see people enjoy the ocean with confidence.
"While the risk of a shark attack in WA is low, history shows us that when an encounter does occur it predominately involves a surfer or diver.
"That's why offering personal protection to those most at risk makes good Sea Sense.
"It's pleasing to see Great Southern surfers and divers take their safety seriously, with about a third of rebates claimed in regional areas and many of those in Albany.
We want to continue to see more people use their Sea Sense and purchase one of these scientifically proven devices, and in particular more surfers.
"That's why over the weekend we have launched a new digital campaign to encourage surfers to take up the McGowan Government's $200 rebate.
"Using a shark deterrent makes good Sea Sense for your personal safety, as is checking the SharkSmart website before you head to the beach."
Comments attributed to Member for Albany Peter Watson:
"This is a great opportunity for surfers and divers in Albany to take advantage of the Government rebate if they haven't already.
"These devices take the worry out of staying safe in the water and it's great to see that their use has been popular with divers and surfers on the south coast.
"Why take the risk when you can take advantage of this shark deterrent rebate."