Shark count higher, down on 2015-16

Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

The number of sharks that have been detected along the South West coast has risen by 40 per cent this summer, but is still re-markedly lower than the 2015-16 statistics.

Data from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development showed 35 tagged sharks had been identified by the shark monitoring network receivers located at Bunbury, Busselton, Meelup and Smiths Beach since November 1.

While the figure is up from the 25 detected in the 2016-17 summer, statistics have drastically lowered compared with 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 by an SMN receiver, 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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The Times could not obtain data on how many sharks were tagged and when.

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