Spike in shark detections

Chloe FraserSouth Western Times

The number of sharks detected along the South West coast has spiked by 40 per cent this summer, but it is still lower than the 2015-16 statistics.

Data from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development showed 35 tagged sharks were identified by the shark monitoring network receivers at Bunbury, Busselton, Meelup and Smiths Beach from last November to now.

While the figure is up from the 25 detected in the 2016-17 summer, statistics have drastically lowered compared to the 75 detected in 2015-16.

The department’s shark response unit spokesman Tony Cappelluti said receivers covered water up to 500m off the coast, but the detection frequency was dependent on shark movements and influenced by environmental factors.

“What is important is that should a tagged shark be detected, the detection is immediately posted to the SharkSmart website and Surf Life Saving WA’s Twitter feed so the public can access the information,” he said.

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