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Shark threat at Warnbro Sound prompts action

Shark threat at Warnbro Sound prompts action

19 December 2014

Following a series of tagged shark detections of a white shark at the Warnbro receiver a decision has been made to deploy capture gear to take a white shark that has been assessed as posing a serious threat to public safety.

The Department of Fisheries sent vessels to investigate and it became apparent the same shark has been within one kilometre of the shore over consecutive days.

Numerous mitigation strategies have been implemented in an attempt to negate any threat, however, the shark’s continued presence has resulted in this decision being made in the interests of public safety. 

“The department has monitored the movement of the white shark in the Warnbro Sound area since late November, and has been closely monitoring it for the past two weeks,” Department of Fisheries Acting Director General Dr Rick Fletcher said.

“The initial pattern of detections of this tagged shark combined with the mitigation strategies did not warrant further action. However there has been an increase in the number of day-time detections on consecutive days during the lead up to Christmas, and school holidays combined with warm and sunny weather, people are more likely to be in the water using the beaches, fishing and diving.”

“The decision to remove the shark has been made under the State Government’s guidelines for the take of a shark posing a serious threat to public safety,” Dr Fletcher said.

“Measures required to negate serious threat to the public have been put in place, including beach closures, notifications to the community, and alerts / detections posted on Twitter and the department’s SharkSmart website, however, given the likely increase in water users and increased detections of this shark, more direct action has now been taken to address public safety concerns.”

Warnbro Beach will remain closed for the remainder of today, and the situation will be reviewed prior to tomorrow. Advice is that water users should:

• Adhere to any beach closures by City of Rockingham or Surf Life Saving WA.
• Take additional caution in the Warnbro Sound area.
• Keep informed of the latest detection and sighting information by checking the Surf Life Saving Twitter – www.twitter.com/SLSWA or the SharkSmart activity map www.sharksmart.com.au/shark-activity
• Report any shark sightings to Water Police on 9442 8600.

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