Fewer than 500 shark deterrent device rebates available for surfers and divers

Stock image.
Stock image.

THERE are less than 500 shark deterrent device rebates available in the State Government’s world-first program to help protect surfers and divers.

The personal shark deterrent program, which started in May 2017, has enabled more than 3000 West Australians to access a $200 rebate on scientifically proven devices through registered retail outlets.

Of these 3000 devices, surfers have bought about 400 and divers have snapped up the rest.

At the start of the program, only the FREEDOM7, available from the Joondalup-based Shark Shield, qualified for the subsidy.

Then a year later, the FREEDOM+ Surf was added to the program after university testing showed it significantly reduced the risk of an encounter with a shark.

Last month, the shark deterrent subsidies were extended by another 500, with 375 bought in the lead up to Christmas.

Acting Fisheries Minister Roger Cook said it was fantastic to see surfers and divers “taking greater personal responsibility for their safety by purchasing a scientifically proven device”.

“These devices can be used anywhere, anytime to significantly improve a surfer or diver’s personal safety,” he said.

“This is why we encourage anyone who has not yet bought a device to consider purchasing one, with a little under 500 subsidies remaining in the program.”