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Shark barrier trial under way at Old Dunsborough

Shark barrier trial under way at Old Dunsborough

24 January 2014

Beachgoers in the South-West will be able to take advantage of a new shark enclosure this Australia Day weekend with the completion of an underwater barrier in Dunsborough.

  • Shark barrier installed with $165,370 funding from State Government
  • Barrier designed to prevent sharks from entering the beach area
  • Trial forms part of $22million Shark Hazard Mitigation Strategy

Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett today announced that the City of Busselton’s beach enclosure trial at Old Dunsborough Beach was under way.

The State Government provided $165,370 to the City of Busselton to run the trial, which will test the suitability of beach enclosures to protect beachgoers from sharks. 

The beach enclosure is designed to be shark-proof and is similar to those used successfully on the Gold Coast to prevent bull shark attacks.

Mr Barnett said Old Dunsborough Beach was an appropriate location for the trial because it was one of the most highly used beaches in the South-West. There have been several shark sightings off the Dunsborough coast in recent months. 

“Old Dunsborough Beach is used for school holiday swimming lessons, surf lifesaving and community events,” he said.

“This enclosure, which extends about 100m from the shore and runs parallel with the beach for approximately 300m, is designed to keep swimmers safe by acting as a barrier to repel sharks.” 

The Premier said the beach enclosure trial was one of a range of measures put in place by the State Government to help Western Australian beach-goers feel safe and enjoy the ocean.

“The State Government recognises that a range of measures are needed to ensure West Australians can enjoy our beautiful beaches.  Funding research into shark deterrents is part of this strategy, as is the beach enclosure trial,” he said.

Mr Barnett said he hoped the trial would be successful and he looked forward to seeing the results.

Fact File

  • The beach enclosure comprises six metal piles drilled into the seabed supporting a 100m x 300m mesh barrier
  • Shark sightings should be reported to Water Police on 9442 8600
  • General information on sharks is also available online via the Department of Fisheries’ shark information pages at www.fish.wa.gov.au/shark

Premier’s office - 6552 5000

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