Shark Shield devices 'nearly out of stock' three weeks into rebate scheme

Shark Shield managing director Lindsay Lyon. Photo: dotdot72@yahoo.com
Shark Shield managing director Lindsay Lyon. Photo: dotdot72@yahoo.com

Shark Shield is struggling to keep up with demand for its shark deterrent device since the state government introduced a $200 rebate offer three weeks ago. 

More than 400 of the devices - valued at $750 - have been sold through participating dive and sports shops across Western Australia since May 26. 

The subsidy is limited to the first 1000 sold and was introduced just weeks after 17-year-old surfer Laeticia Brouwer was killed by what was thought to be a great white shark off Esperance. 

Scubanautics Diving Academy owner Darrin Scott said his Rockingham store had sold 35 devices since the subsidy was introduced, around 33 more than usual. 

"Certainly people are very happy the government is taking some steps to assist them in getting the Shark Shield, they're appreciative of that," he said.

"It's something that's in the forefront of the majority of diver's minds so the Shark Shield gives them the confidence to get back in the water again and enjoy it."

Shark Shield managing director Lindsay Lyon told ABC News his company was working to replenish stocks of the device to several retailers which had sold out. 

"We had not forecast the sales that have come in," he said. 

Esperance Diving and Fishing manager Jaimen Hudson said his shop, which has been selling the Shark Shield for a number of years, had noticed only a minor increase in uptake.  

"We've sold a few more... the subsidy has definitely encouraged people that I know who didn't want to pay the money beforehand, it's definitely encouraged them to buy," he said. 

"It's proven that they do work, I've had people with first hand experiences say they do work... even at full price it's a worthwhile investment and while they're on this subsidy it's definitely a good time to get one.

"If it's going to - at the end of the day - get people into the water that were worried beforehand, then it's worth every penny."

Meanwhile, Fisheries minister Dave Kelly on Tuesday announced the break where Laeticia Brouwer was attacked by a shark would be getting two new shark detector receivers after locals campaigned for a stronger monitoring system.

"The two locations selected by the Esperance community are both popular surfing beaches among locals and visitors," he said. 

"Department of Fisheries staff are on their way to Esperance today with the receivers and equipment to deploy the detectors, if weather permits, by the end of the month."

The installation of the two new satellite-linked tagged shark detectors brings to the total number of shark detectors off WA's coastline to 27. The receivers track around 256 white sharks, 101 tiger sharks and 140 bronze whalers. 

There have been 15 fatal shark attacks off WA's coast since 2000.

This story Shark Shield devices 'nearly out of stock' first appeared on Augusta-Margaret River Mail.