Media Release

Department of Fisheries, Western Australia

Thursday 25 October 2012

SHARC calls for shark deterrent research

  • State Government provides $2million for research to help keep beachgoers safe
  • Holistic approach being taken to tackle current situation at swimming beaches
  • Shark Hazard Advisory Research Committee established to assess applications

Science and Innovation Minister John Day today called for submissions for applied research into shark deterrents.

Mr Day said the State Government had established the Shark Hazard Advisory Research Committee (SHARC) and that $2million was now available to encourage and support research into the development of innovations aimed at protecting the State’s beachgoers.

“Sharks have become a greater risk to the community and the Liberal-National Government is initiating numerous strategies – as part of a holistic approach – aimed at reducing this risk at the State’s popular swimming beaches,” he said.

“Innovative research that could potentially assist in reducing the risk of shark attacks is currently being undertaken in the community – the funding will enable this research to progress at a faster pace to ensure innovations are developed now so as to help provide more protection for beachgoers.

“SHARC will be led by WA’s Chief Scientist, Professor Lyn Beazley, and is responsible for assessing all applications received under this program.

“This funding complements the activities under the $6.85million package announced last month.”

Grants of up to $300,000 over a period of up to three years will be open to Western Australian-based organisations, including universities, research institutes, industry, and not-for-profit organisations; it is anticipated this research will be well under way by the end of the year.

The committee comprises Peter Millington, CEO, Chemcentre; Dr Rick Fletcher, head of research, Department of Fisheries; Michele Clement, director, Innovative Science, Department of Commerce; and Chris Peck, community safety manager, Surf Life Saving Western Australia.

The Minister said Western Australia’s beaches are important to the fabric of WA’s culture and the State Government was doing everything possible to ensure these areas were kept safe.

Fact File

Source: Department of Fisheries, Western Australia