Personal shark deterrents

About This Campaign

Following a campaign to seek feedback from young ocean users, Greens MLC Diane Evers has thrown her support behind scientific trials of surfing-specific personal shark deterrents, with a view to the being included in a Government rebate scheme if they are proven effective at deterring great white sharks.

Key Points

  • The WA Government created a $200 rebate for personal shark deterrents in May 2017.
  • The rebate is only currently available for the Shark Shield FREEDOM 7™, a deterrent suitable for use by divers, spear fishers and kayakers. This device was previously verified as effective at deterring great white sharks in trials conducted by University of WA that were funded by the Barnett Government.
  • Of the 650 people who had applied for the rebate by 28/9/2017, less than 7 per cent were aged under 25 years, prompting the Greens to seek young ocean-users’ feedback.
  • NSW Government-funded trials of surfing-specific devices are currently being carried out by Flinders University off the Neptune Islands including WA product Rpela (SurfSafe)
  • Shark Shield has commissioned Flinders University to also test Shark Shield’s Freedom+ Surf surfing-specific deterrent off the Neptune Islands with white sharks.

I reached out to the public to ask why young people who are big participants in ocean sports showed such low uptake for the rebate, and the responses have primarily been along two lines: low awareness of the rebate and of how personal shark deterrents make you safer; and the fact that the rebate only applies to a device not suitable for surfing,” said Ms Evers, who is the WA Greens’ Marine Spokesperson.

Diane Evers