Surf Life Saving WA chopper patrols extended

After higher levels of shark activity

Surf Life Saving WA chopper patrols extended

The McGowan Government is for the first time in WA extending daily aerial patrols of both south-west and metropolitan beaches beyond April.

Surf Life Saving Western Australia (SLSWA) has been provided around $350,000 in additional funding to continue daily aerial patrols in the south-west and metropolitan areas until May 27, 2018.

Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly says "The safety of people at our beaches is paramount for the McGowan Government and that is why we have made this important decision to fund the extension of the SLSWA aerial patrols until May 27, 2018."

Due to higher levels of marine animal activity, including sharks, daily patrols will continue to cover the same areas for an additional month. It will cost about $350,000 for the additional month of service.

There are a number of environmental factors in the marine environment that could potentially create higher levels of shark activity in localised areas along the WA coast over the late summer and autumn period, including mass whale strandings and the salmon run.

On March 23, 2018, 105 Long-finned Pilot Whales stranded themselves at Hamelin Bay - the largest stranding in almost 10 years. In the following weeks a further 25 whales washed ashore along the south-west coast.

The high number of injured whales or carcasses, on or close to shore, could be providing an opportunistic food source, or acting as an attractant for a range of large animals, including white sharks.

Water users are urged to check SharkSmart's shark activity map or Surf Life Saving WA's Twitter, before going into the water. Report any shark sightings to Water Police on 9442 8600.