New operational guidelines to deal with significant sharks hazards are now in place. They will provide a framework for determining the threat posed by a shark and, if required, any further action to be taken. The guidelines cover a number of factors to be considered, including the number of confirmed sightings, level of hazard and risk, and if the threat can be reduced through other actions such as closing beaches. The guidelines are not about culling sharks, they are to assist with decision making to protect public safety.
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The Department of Fisheries has also released a new report outlining the potential risk factors associated with white shark attacks in WA waters.
The correlation study investigated all attacks recorded in the State during the past 20 years, including the conditions at the time, and compared them to identify any common patterns. The relative risk of an attack appears to be higher for activities undertaken further offshore, particularly in cooler waters (less than 20 degrees). While being in shallower water, close to the mainland and especially when the water is relatively warm (more than 22 degrees), appears to have the lowest relative risk. However, the report notes that there will always be an element of risk of a shark attack when undertaking activities in marine waters.
It is important the community continues to report shark sightings to the Water Police.
T: 9442 8600
Study findings - executive summary
Study findings in full
Department of Fisheries WA website