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Government of Western Australia - Department of Fisheries

Shark safety

Of the 160-plus known species of Australian sharks, only three are regarded as posing a significant risk to human safety:

  • the white shark or white pointer/great white (Carcharodon carcharias);
  • tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier); and
  • bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas).

In WA, the majority of fatalities are attributed to white sharks.

Wobbegong, hammerhead and whaler sharks, while usually harmless, have also bitten humans, but the bites are rarely fatal. As is the case with other wild animals, sharks may bite when they feel threatened and, no matter how big or small, should be left alone.

Reducing the risk of shark interactions

Even though shark encounters are considered rare, every West Australian can bring something to the beach, to help stay safe. It’s our Sea Sense.

Switch on your Sea Sense and stay up to date with shark activity information by downloading the SharkSmart WA app. Along with other beach safety features, the app provides near real-time information of shark activity, including current alerts and warnings.

You can further develop your Sea Sense by protecting yourself with a personal shark deterrent device; West Australian residents can take advantage of the $200 shark deterrent rebate. You can also follow our Sea Sense tips and discover more about our shark mitigation strategies by visiting ​​

Last modified: 13/01/2023 9:20 AM

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