Planet Ark News - The world first “shark curtain” on Western Australia’s coastline
Planet Ark News

The world first “shark curtain” on Western Australia’s coastline

Date: 10-Dec-19
Author: Liam Taylor

The virtual shark net at Busselton Jetty will keep both tourists and sharks safe.

The virtual shark net at Busselton Jetty will keep both tourists and sharks safe.

An electromagnetic shark deterrent will be installed this week at the iconic Busselton Jetty in the south-west of Western Australia.

The tourist attraction is the longest timber-plied jetty in the southern hemisphere and last year attracted over half a million visitors. Whilst swimming off the jetty to see the variety of marine wildlife has long been encouraged, a survey of 9,000 people over four years found a number of tourists were unwilling to take a dip due to fear of sharks. 

In order to alleviate such fears, the organisation that manages the attraction is installing 20 electromagnetic devices in an area around the jetty’s end. The devices emit electromagnetic pulses that deter sharks and some species of ray but avoid harming other marine life.

Together, the devices form a 50 x 20 metre ‘shark curtain’ preventing the animals from entering the area. The closer sharks get to the devices the more uncomfortable and likely to change courses they become. The virtual shield at Busselton Jetty is just the latest in shark shield technology produced by the company Ocean Guardian.

Busselton Jetty CEO Lisa Shreeve said the device would enable people to see the wealth of underwater life at the jetty.

"People want to get into the water and they want to see our amazing marine life, but they have this unsubstantiated fear that there is always something out there," Shreeve said.

 

Positive Action

  • For more information on how to keep safe from sharks in the water, check out SharkSmart.
  • Find out about the critical importance sharks play in our marine ecosystems and why it’s so important we save our sharks.

 

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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Liam                                              Taylor

Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.
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