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Coastal safety for Easter and the school holidays

Coastal safety for Easter and the school holidays

25 March 2024

Recent reports of western Australian salmon schools off Albany and the South West Coast are early reminders of the annual and much-awaited salmon run.

It’s good news for fishers that the salmon are turning up in time for Easter, with Good Friday and the school holidays kicking off on 29 March.

How far north the salmon get along the West Coast depends on the relative strengths of both the Leeuwin and Capes currents and water temperatures along the way. For most of the year, the species is found in cooler southern waters but during the spawning run, they can be common in waters as far up as the Perth metro coast.

For fishers and families coastal safety is key this autumn, when it comes to WA's annual salmon run. The south-west and south coast will be a focal area for many people hoping to tangle with a hard fighting salmon. If you’re unfamiliar with a location, stick to the beaches and keep the sand between your toes – it’s a far safer option than fishing off the rocks. 

Whether fishing or enjoying a coastal break, be aware that big schools of fish close to shore attract larger marine predators, including a range of shark species. Anyone sighting a shark should report it to Water Police on 9442 8600 to help keep all water users safe.

Recreational fishers should remember to bleed their catches away from the water’s edge and to discard fish waste responsibly – away from swimmers and other water users. 

Surfers and divers can help protect themselves with a personal shark deterrent device and access the State Government’s $200 rebate. Over 9,300 rebates have been issued.

DPIRD’s Shark Response Unit Manager Michael Burke said WA’s shark hazard mitigation strategy involved a range of tools and actions to help keep ocean users and coastal communities as safe as possible.

“We encourage all water users to download the SharkSmart WA app to receive near real-time information on shark activity. You can select your favourite coastal locations and receive updates as they happen,” Mr Burke said. 

“The app can also be used to help plan your trip to the beach combining information on beach safety features such as beach enclosure locations, Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) patrolled beaches and the weather forecast. 

“SLSWA’s ongoing efforts are a vital part of keeping people safe at our beaches and their metropolitan aerial patrols will be flying daily until the end of April and the south-west helicopter will be in the air on weekends and throughout Easter and the school holidays.” 

Anyone heading to WA’s beaches at any time is urged to switch on their Sea Sense – check www.sharksmart.com.au or download the SharkSmart WA app. 


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