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Science & Research

The Western Australian Government's shark mitigation strategy has a strong evidence based focus, backed by science. The Government has supported a variety of research projects and initiatives to enhance our understanding of shark biology and ecology to better inform our government policies. 

White Shark Movement & Population

Some of the world's leading shark research has been conducted in Australia by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and CSIRO, to gain a better understanding about white shark movements and population size. This research helps to inform our shark mitigation strategies. 

A summary of important research findings are outlined below and can be downloaded in our fact sheet.

Scientific non-lethal SMART drumline trial

The Western Australian Government conducted a two-year scientific trial of non-lethal SMART drumlines to assess the effectiveness of SMART drumlines in reducing the risk of shark attacks. The intent of the trial was not to kill sharks, but to catch, tag, relocate and release white sharks one kilometre from shore.  

Through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), the scientific trial was conducted between 21 February 2019 and 20 February 2021. Fishing operations continued until the 20 May 2021, while the scientific assessment took place.  

Shark Tagging

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has a dedicated shark tagging program to support the Shark Monitoring Network

Acoustically tagged bronze, tiger and white sharks may trigger a near real-time alert through one of the shark monitoring receivers, notifying the public, land managers and relevant authorities of a potential shark hazard.

Shark Monitoring Network

The Shark Monitoring Network (SMN) consists of 37 acoustic receivers, which provide land managers, relevant authorities and the public with near real-time alerts of tagged sharks at key locations. 

Research Reports

Research is a crucial element of the Western Australian Government’s shark mitigation strategy. The following research reports have been published as the Government and its partners continue to investigate ways to enhance and expand existing shark mitigation measures. 

Shark detection and deterrent technologies

The Western Australian Government has invested in a variety of projects aimed at investigating the development of non-lethal shark detection and deterrent technologies to further protect WA beachgoers.