Fisheries urge ocean users to stay safe these Easter holidays with SharkSmart app

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Sharks hunting a salmon school. Residents and visitors to the Capes region are being urged to ‘switch on their sea sense’ this Easter school holidays.
Camera IconSharks hunting a salmon school. Residents and visitors to the Capes region are being urged to ‘switch on their sea sense’ this Easter school holidays. Credit: Chris White

Residents and visitors to the Capes region were urged to “switch on their sea sense” this Easter school holidays.

WA’s Department of Fisheries issued the call this week amid concerns salmon migration off the coast often attracted sharks.

Unaware swimmers, surfers and fishers were potentially at risk and were directed to download the WA Government’s SharkSmart app before visiting regional beaches.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development shark operations manager Dean Clarke said a $200 rebate scheme for personal shark deterrents was also still available.

“If you haven’t already received a rebate, there are now three eligible devices that have been scientifically proven to reduce your risk of interaction with a white shark,” he said.

“The aerial shark patrols by Surf Life Saving WA will be operating daily during the school holidays and over Easter to watch over Perth metro and popular South West beaches.

“At locations with no beach patrol services, follow the direction of the SLSWA Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter when its alarm siren has sounded,” Mr Clarke said.

“This means they’ve spotted a potential shark threat. Leave the water immediately.

“Before entering the water, always check your SharkSmart WA app, the SharkSmart website or the SLSWA Twitter service for shark activity information, including reports from aerial patrols.”

The SharkSmart WA app also has a link to call Water Police on 9442 8600 to report any sightings.

Mr Clarke warned salmon migrations were a known shark attractant, and fishers were asked to discard fish waste responsibly and well away from other ocean users.

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