A NEW surfer-specific device has been added to the State Government’s personal shark deterrent subsidy.
The Ocean Guardian’s (formerly known as SharkShield) Surf+ device was university-tested off the Neptune Islands in South Australia – a known white shark hotspot.
West Australians who buy the device will be entitled to a $200 rebate after Friday, with the Government adding an extra $200,000 to the program for an extra 1000 devices.
Julie and Leon Brouwer, the parents of shark attack victim Laeticia Brouwer, welcomed the news.
“As surfers, we welcome this latest independent study to validate technology aimed at personal safety in the surf,” they said.
“We also welcome the Government’s rapid response by including a device specifically designed for surfers to the shark deterrent subsidy.
“This along with a range of other strategies such as increased surveillance and awareness raising should all be part of the management solution.
“There are a range of other management options that the surfing community would also like to see taken up by government, and are being discussed further but will take time to progress.
“However in the short term, personal shark deterrents are available now, and along with the backing of a scientifically valid report, and the Government subsidy – as surfers we can do our bit to prevent further attacks.”
Mr Kelly said the Surf+ device had been proven to lower the risk of shark interaction by at least 60 per cent.
“The department’s scientists advise me that in more normal conditions, the device may produce an even higher level of deterrence,” he said.
“With the addition of this new device, the McGowan Government has decided to extend the rebate for Western Australians to purchase an additional 1000 accredited devices.
“Western Australians have embraced this program since it was launched in May 2017.
“I’m sure that with the addition of this new device, we will see even more people purchase a device and significantly reduce their chance of a shark interaction.”
For more information, visit http://www.sharksmart.com.au.