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SMART drumlines in WA can save lives & prevent shark attacks

Published: Wednesday, 4 July 2018

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THE HON JOSH FRYDENBERG MP
Minister for the Environment and Energy

MEDIA RELEASE

4 July 2018

SMART DRUMLINES IN WA CAN SAVE LIVES & PREVENT SHARK ATTACKS

In the last 25 years, there have been 17 fatal shark attacks in Western Australia, more so than in any other state in the country.

The Turnbull Government has been calling on the Western Australian Government to take more rigorous and proactive measures to protect its citizens against shark attacks, including the rollout of non-lethal SMART drumlines.

Following a discussion between myself and WA Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly on 30 May, the Commonwealth committed to providing Western Australia with a list of potential sites where SMART drumlines could be deployed. This list has been provided to the Western Australian Government.

At a cost of between $5-7 million for a six month period, it is proposed 176 SMART drumlines be deployed and monitored at key locations across the Perth metropolitan and southwest regions.

Deployed from Quinns Rock Beach to Mandurah in the metropolitan area and from Bunbury to Prevelly in the southwest, the SMART drumlines would cover those areas where there has been 11 out of 17 fatal shark attacks in the last 25 years.

The exact locations of the drumlines would be subject to local conditions.
 
The plan would cover approximately 260 kilometres of coastline with about 80 per cent of WA’s population living within 30 kilometres of the proposed protected areas. The cost of the deployment of the SMART drumlines would be borne by the Western Australian Government, as shark management is the primary responsibility of state governments.

Drumlines in additional locations where attacks have occurred should also be considered by the Western Australian Government.

SMART drumlines have been trialled with great effect in New South Wales where more than 200 target sharks were captured over a 12 month period. Following the success of its plan, the New South Wales Government has offered Western Australia the use of five SMART drumlines.

Importantly, the Queensland and New South Wales Governments have had in place extensive measures to manage shark attacks, including nets and drumlines, for a number of years, with only one fatal shark attack at a protected beach in more than half a century.

Given the high incidence of shark attacks in Western Australia and the recent release of a CSIRO report into great white shark numbers off the west coast of Australia, now is an opportune time for the Western Australian Government to take further steps to protect its citizens from shark attacks.

Deploying the SMART drumlines in the locations outlined by the Commonwealth would be a significant and welcome step forward.

Ends

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