City Beach: Clever Buoys trial to extend past summer to help prevent shark attacks

One of the Clever Buoys to be trialled at City Beach from today.
One of the Clever Buoys to be trialled at City Beach from today.

THE State Government is set to extend the trial of Clever Buoy shark detectors at City Beach past the end of summer.

The two Clever Buoys have been towed from Fremantle today and dropped into place at City Beach for the first time.

The government trial, starting this week, will protect swimmers between City Beach groyne and Floreat groyne at a cost of $500,000.

Beachgoers said they were glad the shark detectors were being installed at City Beach in time for Christmas.

Local resident Chris Swingler said friends would return to the beach and feel safer after going to swimming pools because of sharks.

Another local who has swum at City Beach every day for years said he hoped sirens would not sound too often with the increased surveillance of sharks.

The Clever Buoys work by detecting all untagged sharks up to 500 metres away, and sending an instant satellite alert to lifesavers to sound the alarm if a shark is approaching.

Despite strong applications from the City of Stirling and the City of Busselton after numerous shark sightings, the WA Government chose City Beach for the Clever Buoy trial because groynes on each side protect it.

The local inventor of Clever Buoys, Shark Mitigation Systems, hopes the government will roll out more of the shark detectors along other Perth beaches.

Launching the trial at City Beach, Fisheries minister Joe Francis said more Clever Buoys were possible to the north at Trigg Beach – where surfers were worried about increased shark sightings – and down south around Dunsborough.

“We’ll have to look and see which beaches are best suited to the technology,” he said.

The Minister said any further shark detectors depended on the success of the City Beach trial.

The WA Clever Buoys have already been trialled successfully by the NSW Government on Bondi Beach, and more are being installed north of Sydney.

The Queensland government is now negotiating to have the WA Clever Buoys, as well as governments on the east and west coast of the US.

The start of the Clever Buoy trial at City Beach this week comes only days after a beach inspector dragged in a two metre tiger shark just past the Floreat groyne.

The Fisheries Department told the Town of Cambridge to dispose of the shark, so beach inspectors put it on a rescue board before taking the shark on a 30-kilometre journey to the council tip at Tamala Park.

Surf Lifesaving WA believes a fisherman had hooked the shark overnight and released it before the beach inspector spotted it next morning while on patrol.