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Shark WARNING for Perth coastal waters

Shark WARNING for Perth coastal waters

28 August 2015

Alert level:
A shark WARNING has been issued for Perth coastal waters and the offshore locations known as Mewstone and Straggler Reefs after confirmation of a number of white sharks in the Mewstone / Straggler Reefs area in the last few days.


  • An unusual number of white sharks have been in the Mewstone and Straggler Reefs area in the past few days.
  • It is possible that the frequency or duration of the recent reported sightings and detections may increase the likelihood of encountering a shark in this area. The change in activity may be due to a change in environmental conditions – with an unusual abundance of Australian salmon also being noted off the Perth coast.
  • Department of Fisheries researchers have been undertaking tagging in the area. Five white sharks have been caught, tagged and released. 

What to do:

  • Obey beach closures advised by Local Government Rangers or Surf Life Saving WA.
  • Take extra caution along the Perth coast, including offshore islands and in particular at Mewstone and the Straggler Reefs area; by swimming at patrolled beaches, not surfing or diving close to the areas of main concern, keeping away from large schools of fish and remaining cautious in metropolitan waters.
  • During winter many beaches are not patrolled fulltime, so water users need to take responsibility for their actions by staying up to date.
  • Keep informed of the latest detection and sighting information by checking the SharkSmart website or Surf Life Saving WA’s Twitter feed.
  • If you see a shark, report it to Water Police on 9442 8600. All shark sighting information reported to Water Police is provided to response agencies and to the public on the SharkSmart website and Surf Life Saving WA Twitter feed.

What authorities are doing:
The Department of Fisheries will continue to monitor the situation. To keep people safe, beaches may be closed by Local Government rangers or Surf Life Saving WA, following reported sightings or detections.

The Department of Fisheries advises that it is unable to provide advice on the likely duration of the unusual environmental conditions. It is possible it may continue for some time.

Extra information:
It is not uncommon for sharks to be present off the coast throughout the year, but the recent number of sightings at Mewstone has been unusual.  

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