State Govt provides funding to extend aerial shark patrols at Perth and South-West beaches

RECENT shark attacks have spurred the State Government to extend aerial patrols at Perth and South-West beaches.

It has provided $350,000 to Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) to continue its daily aerial patrols for an extra month until May 27 at beaches in the Perth metropolitan area and South-West region.

Patrols started on September 2, three weeks earlier than the previous year and were supposed to end on April 30. A Government statement suggested mass whale strandings and the salmon run could create higher levels of shark activity in the late summer and autumn period, and Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said safety was paramount.

“SLSWA provide a crucial service for our community and form an important part of our multi-faceted shark mitigation strategy in WA,” he said.

“The extension of this service beyond April is a first for WA, with no other government previously committing to extend the service.

“People are urged to heed all warnings and beach closures put in place by authorities.”

Beachgoers are encouraged to check the SharkSmart shark activity map or Surf Life Saving WA’s Twitter page before going into the water. Shark sightings should be reported to Water Police on 9442 8600.