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A trial rebate of $200 for 1000 personal shark deterrent devices brought from Friday has been implemented, in an effort to reduce the risk of attacks off the West Australian coast.
The Shark Deterrent Rebate, now on offer, was one of the WA Labor government’s election commitments and part of Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly’s “multi-faceted shark mitigation strategy”.
The trial offers a rebate to independently verified shark deterrent devices purchased from retailers registered with the Department of Fisheries.
The long-running debate over beach safety was reignited in April when 17-year-old Laeticia Brouwer died after being attacked while surfing in Esperance.
Despite her death - which was the 15th off the WA coast since 2000 - Premier Mark McGowan said he remained in favour of personal devices to deter sharks instead of culling, nets or drumlines.
Mr Kelly said the trial was a “world-first” and urged West Australian’s to benefit from it.
The Shark Shield Freedom 7 is an approved device and is available for the subsidy from today.
Other devices will be included in the rebate scheme if they receive independent verification that proves the devices effectiveness.
While strategies are implemented at state-level, a group of Esperance surfers have banded together in an effort to up-skill the community in water safety.
Local Mitch Capelli said he started the Esperance Ocean Safety and Support Group to provide the safest ocean environment possible for the community.