Two more satellite-linked tagged shark monitors for the WA Government’s Shark Monitoring Network have now been installed in Albany’s King George Sound and are online ready to make detections.
The new monitors are in position at Ellen Cove, off Albany’s well-known Middleton Beach and off Whaler’s Beach at Frenchman’s Bay and are part of a world-class network that provides both public safety and research benefits.
Shark Monitoring Network Project Manager, Mark Kleeman said the network now had 19 satellite-linked monitors off Perth’s coast, one off Bunbury, another near Meelup, plus the two in Albany’s King George Sound. More monitors were expected to soon be installed off the South West coast.
“The new monitors at these popular beaches will allow beach users to know if a tagged shark is near the beach with near real-time alerts,” said Mr Kleeman.
Expansion of the satellite-linked network is part of a long-term project to improve safety at West Australian beaches which will also help scientists better understand the movements of white sharks through WA waters.
“Along with the satellite-linked monitors, there are approximately 320 seabed monitors located throughout Western Australia that also monitor tagged sharks and each time that data is physically retrieved it will help to establish a much broader snapshot for understanding shark behaviour and movement,” Mr Kleeman said.
338 sharks have so far been tagged for the ongoing Shark Monitoring Network project.
Mr Kleeman said the two new monitors would only detect tagged sharks within a specified radius, so sighting reports from members of the public will remain a vital contribution to the safety of the Albany community.
“We ask people who sight sharks in WA to call the Water Police on 9442 8600, it is important sightings of large sharks are reported in a timely and accurate manner.
“This will help give beach safety or local authorities the opportunity to respond.”
The Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) Twitter feed at twitter.com/slswa is the best way to keep up-to-date with any detection of tagged sharks, by the State Government’s Shark Monitoring Network, as well as any sightings reported by members of the community to Water Police.
This information is also available on the SLSWA website at www.surflifesavingwa.com.au and via a link on the Department of Fisheries’ website shark pages at www.fish.wa.gov.au/shark.