The Shark Response Unit was created in early 2012 to conduct research into shark populations and movements, improve response plans and procedures, and provide advice and information to members of the public that will assist them in making informed decisions when using the aquatic environment.
The Unit has received $3.75m in funding over five years which includes $1.7m for four major research projects. We have also commissioned our patrol vessel Hamelin to the Unit to improve our capability to manage shark hazards and carry out important shark research and tagging activities along the WA coast.
We will work to highlight the importance of reporting shark sightings to the Water Police and the communication and response process that follows. The Unit will also investigate systems that alert beach goers and other users of the aquatic environment when shark sightings and incidents occur.
The Unit is also tasked with:
- Exploring the use of community-based programs that could contribute to public safety along our coast;
- Undertaking a desktop study to evaluate the effectiveness of shark deterrent or repellent devices in the marketplace; and
- Investigate the legislative and social implications and risks for any potential shark cage tourism.