Stab Magazine | Shark Shield To Test New Device In Western Australia
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Shark Shield To Test New Device In Western Australia

It would be gifted a government subsidy if successful.

news // Apr 23, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Shark Shield has announced it is about a month away from trialling a new personal shark repellent device in the Western Australia market. The device is supposed to be able to be attached to both buoys and larger objects (patrol boats, skis, underneath piers, etc.) and would provide a 100-metre diameter, 50-metre depth safety zone. The announcement comes a few days after a teenage girl was killed by a shark while surfing with her father during the Easter holiday at a break called Kelp Beds, near Esperance in WA.

“We’re about to release a product called Ocean Guardian which uses a transducer, which doesn’t give an (electric) shock,” said Shark Shield managing director, Lindsay Lyon, during a senate committee inquiry on shark mitigation in Perth last Thursday. “It creates discomfort if the shark comes into the zone and causes it to turn away.”

Revamp the debate that these subaquatic pulses don’t deter sharks but rather frustrate, and thus, further provoke them? Possibly, as Shark Shields now appears to be moving away from their previous depth charge tactic.

A move that is receiving a wider range of support. Along with Sea Shepherd representatives, the new Labor government approves of further exploring these personal shark deterrents. A notion that the former Liberal government had previously ignored. Writing off Mr Lyon’s previous attempts at funding research into such devices.

WA Premier Mark McGowan is expected to release an official policy decision in the next few weeks. A $200 subsidy for the deterrents is expected in the legislation. The average device costs anywhere between $500 and $750.

Still, some individuals, such as Professor Shaun Collin from the University of Western Australia Oceans Institute, believe both further testing should be conducted and regulation specific laws should be implanted before an official shark mitigation strategy is rolled-out.

Will the $300-$550 (considering the aforementioned subsidy is put into place) gadget actually work? A final report is expected to be submitted come June.

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