Shark knee-jerk reaction not needed

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The Greens (WA) has called on the State Government to refrain from over-reacting to the shark attack at Gracetown.

While expressing sympathy for the victim, Greens MLC for the South West Diane Evers said there was no need for impulsive calls for action to be taken on shark numbers.

“In the wake of this awful incident, it’s important that we as a community avoid hype or falling into the reactive decision-making we have seen from governments past,” she said.

“We need to maintain the pressure on the State Government to invest in research and continue subsiding the cost of shark-deterrent devices.”

Last November, Ms Evers threw her support behind scientific trials of surfing-specific personal shark deterrents, planning for them to be included in a Government rebate scheme if they proved effective at repelling the predators.

The devices emit a small electrical field around the diver or surfer, which affects the delicate sensory organs on the shark’s nose.

“There is nothing that can completely eliminate risk if you go in the ocean. Yet just as a seatbelt improves your safety significantly, so will wearing an independently tested and verified personal shark deterrent,” Ms Evers said.

“Ocean goers should also check the government Sharksmart website, sharksmart.com.au.”

Ms Evers wished the injured surfer a speedy recovery. “I hope he’s back on the breaks again soon,” she said.

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