What can the Department do if there is a threat to public safety?
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has protocols and procedures to prepare for, and respond to, serious threat incidents. This includes a network of regionally placed assets which can assist in monitoring an area after a shark bite incident.
The Deputy Director General, Sustainability and Biosecurity of the Department may issue an order for the capture of a shark in exceptional circumstances including where a shark remains in a localized area and all attempts to relocate or remove the shark have been unsuccessful, and the presence of the shark remains a genuine threat.
The same shark being detected in the same location on more than one occasion would, of itself, not necessarily constitute exceptional circumstances when other measures are available to make an area safe. The remoteness or otherwise of an incident would also be a relevant consideration.
Additional measures, as listed below, will remain available to ensure public safety:
- Deployment of a Fisheries vessel to the area (if available)
- Beach closures and ordering people from the water by the relevant land manager (e.g. local government, Parks and Wildlife or Surf Life Saving WA)
- Helicopter, if available, would conduct patrols to assist in beach closures and advise on shark sightings
- Possible beach patrols by Fisheries Officers or Rangers
- Deployment of a drone, if available, to assist in making a final evaluation before a beach is re-opened
- Media alert issued with safety information and regular media updates
- Constant liaison with Water Police and other relevant authorities