10/12/2013 - 15:25

Barnett announces measures to combat sharks

10/12/2013 - 15:25

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Premier Colin Barnett has announced new measures to address public safety and help mitigate the risk sharks pose to water users.

Premier Colin Barnett has announced new measures to address public safety and help mitigate the risk sharks pose to water users.

These measures include setting baited drum lines along heavily used beaches 24 hours a day between January and April next year to catch large sharks one-kilometre from the shore, with vessels monitoring the area.

There will also be long term establishment of specific coastal shark management zones along the coast, to be determined by geographical and environmental features and water use profiles such as swimming, surfing and diving.

Mr Barnett said the new measures would improve public safety and build on the State government’s strong approach to shark hazard management.

“These new initiatives come on top of a raft of measures the state government already has in place to protect beachgoers, like aerial surveillance, beach patrols, shark tagging and a trial of shark enclosure in the south west,” Mr Barnett said.

“We are aware of the risks sharks pose to our beach users and the Western Australian way of life and we are implementing strategies to reduce these risks.

“But whatever the state government does to try to minimise the risk there are still no guarantees, it is very important for Western Australian ocean users to always be aware of the risks of entering the water and to take responsibility for themselves."

Fisheries Minister Troy Buswell said the new strategy was a result of extensive consultation with stakeholders and should help beachgoers make responsible decisions when using the water.

“The preservation of human life is our number one priority and these measures are designed to do that, with minimum impact to the surrounding environment,” Mr Buswell said.

The state government has consulted with the federal government about these measures.

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