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.
What our community has told us06 November 2013
To help understand how the fear of sharks might be affecting community behaviour, the WA Government completed a major research project involving 768 Western Australians.
In 2013, the research showed that while the majority of people haven’t significantly changed their beach use since the recent spate of fatal shark attacks, 40 per cent of metropolitan (and 37 per cent of regional respondents) believe they’re more likely to encounter a shark today than two years ago.
Advice was supplied to help individuals take responsibility for their safety, including education on ways to mitigate risk and information on beach closures.
The community is also interested in receiving information about sharks off the WA coast - in particular knowing what beach closures are in place (from shark sightings or detections). That’s why this SHARKSMART website, and Surf Lifesaving’s smart phone app, is so handy.
In terms of initiatives that make the community feel safer, shark tagging and Government-funded aerial surveillance for Perth and South West beaches offered a lot of reassurance.
The majority of West Australians believe that safety responsibility lies with individuals with education and information proving most important in reducing shark risks. This SHARKSMART site is designed to impart that information.