Deep Sea Pool unveiled

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Divers in the "deep sea pool" will be protected by an electromagnetic current
Camera IconDivers in the "deep sea pool" will be protected by an electromagnetic current Credit: Supplied

A world first in marine technology began installation at Busselton Jetty yesterday.

The Ocean Guardian Marine Safety Zone will be operational next week protecting divers and enabling access to over 300 different species of marine life below the Busselton Jetty.

The “Deep Sea Pool” 1.7 kilometres out of Geographe Bay is encased by a electromagnetic field fixed to buoys emitting low frequency electrodes which deter sharks.

The shark curtain is powered by the same shark shield technology subsidised by the WA Government for surfing and diving.

Busselton Jetty chief executive Lisa Shreeve said the curtain was not harmful to marine life and did not include plastic barriers.

The project was six months in the making and cost $75,000.

“We received a grant from Alannah MacTiernan’s office $50,000 and administered the project at our own cost,” Mrs Shreeve said.

“It’s the best scientifically proven shark deterrent technology available.”

The electrodes will be taken out of the water at night to be charged.

“People will get in and out of the water where the helmet walks have been operating for four years - it’s an extension of the virtual nets under the underwater observatory and will not effect fisherman,” Mrs Shreeve said.

“The depth of water from Alleys Landing is 8 metres so there is bountiful fishing outside the swim area.”

Dive Busselton Jetty will operate guided underwater helmet walks, swim, dive and snorkel tours and will also be in the protected area.

Busselton Jetty marine scientist Sophie Teede said over the next few weeks a pontoon, swim net and other facilities will be added to the area.

“We are keen to share our wonderful marine environment with tourists and visitors from all over Australia and internationally,” she said.

“Many want to immerse themselves in the colourful underwater world however often a fear of sharks prevents them from enjoying the ocean.”

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said the technology would be an attractant to both domestic and international tourists.

“The Busselton jetty conducted some market research about people who travel to the jetty and their is a perception it is dangerous, this will help allay some of those fears,” he said.

“I think people will see this experience and be attracted to the beautiful corals and marine environment and want to enjoy it in a protected space.”

The “Deep Sea Pool” will be officially launched before Christmas.

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