Why aren't WA surfers using the shark deterrent rebate?

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

Beginning in May this year, the Western Australian state government has been offering $200 rebates on scientifically proven shark deterrent devices. To date 630 people have taken up the offer but only 10 of those recipients come from the Margaret River, Yallingup and Dunsborough area.

This statistic has Greens MLC Diane Evers intrigued. After all, it was the Margaret River region that suffered the worst following a recent cluster of attacks that held WA in a state of fear.

The shark deterrent subsidy was a bureacratic response to a community demanding action. So why the slow uptake?

In a media release today, Ms Evers postulates a few theories, including social economics (poor surfers may not be able to afford devices), efficacy of devices, and the one that sounds most plausible to us here at Swellnet: the only approved device is the Shark Shield FREEDOM 7, which is not designed for surfing.

Having nothing on the market for surfers to buy may explain why surfers aren't buying it.

The situation could change if surfing-specific devices are tested and approved, but no-one knows when that may be.

“I look forward to a time when tests have been so completed so that the rebate is available for deterrents with other applications, especially surfing,” says Ms Evers.

The original rebate was only promised to the first 1,000 people so it's possible the offer will end before a surfing device gets approved.

Fuzzy logic aside, Ms Evers is keen to hear from surfers: “I urge people to contact my office with feedback about the rebate and how it could be improved by calling 9486 8070 or emailing [email protected].” 

Have at it, people.

Comments

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Tuesday, 24 Oct 2017 at 8:12pm

crickets

simba

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Sunday, 29 Oct 2017 at 2:14am

They are spending it on pot or camping fees.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 24 Oct 2017 at 8:20pm

Does it take less than 30 days to get the rebate ?

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Thursday, 2 Nov 2017 at 4:22am

Probably.

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Tuesday, 24 Oct 2017 at 8:35pm

Hasn't been marketed much, I bet most don't even know it's available

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Thursday, 2 Nov 2017 at 1:01am

I come from W.A originally. I bought the shark shield when it was in it infancy.

This big wet suit enclosed device, with at least three foot electrocid.

But, I did not go surfing.

I have entered comps, I want smaller, I will win.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 24 Oct 2017 at 8:39pm

It's as though WA surfers have zero confidence in the product preventing the devastating advances of a rampant White Pointer.

ie ; if you're fucked , you're fucked.

No two bit intermittent electrical charge with a limited range is stopping a ton of fish with intent.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Thursday, 2 Nov 2017 at 4:19am

Here's a Poem
A Rampant White Pointer
Little bit like a full on Train
There is really no stopping her
Maybe.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Tuesday, 24 Oct 2017 at 8:58pm

No one knows that Blowin,could be enough to make the thing hesitate for a second which could mean a fatal bite or partial bite.......personally i think the answer is in the way they smell things ,supposed to be 10000 times more than humans,check the size of there nostrils and look at photos cause their nose is probably more important to them than their eye sight imo.

simba

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Tuesday, 24 Oct 2017 at 9:23pm

These devices are suitable for diving, not surfing. Not too many keen divers around Margies. Sketchy water beyond the reefs.

nogo's picture
nogo's picture
nogo commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 10:55am

What about surf safe, it's the only one that even looks like a good product.

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 11:18am

What I don't understand is why the manufactures of shark deterrant aren't doing more field trials and put the videos out for all to see. If they work, then bloody prove it with legitimate videos of a great white charging a dummy on a surfboard, then turning away.
Even more so, if you believe in your product, then go and test it out, go for a freedive or a paddle with free swimming whites, plenty out there on both sides of the country. Esperance locals meeting with minister next week regarding increasing shark interactions and government not doing anything, hopefully a positive outcome.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 11:26am

From a recent article on Swellnet:

Lyndsay Lyon of Shark Shield is also optimistic. "A team at Flinders University led by Dr Charlie Huveneers is currently testing the Freedom + Surf".

Unfortunately for surfers awaiting approval so they can claim the rebate, the testing has been delayed. "The team has been on site at the Neptunes but there are no whites out there," said Lyon. "They're simply not there."

Not sure about Rpela and other devices.

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 11:40am

Need to get out more, maybe visit Yamba, Tuncurry, Bremer or Esperance.

monk's picture
monk's picture
monk commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 2:30pm

...or hang around Lefties for a week or so at the moment. Sightings around Margs are off the charts from the last couple of months.

Make a product that does not hamper surfing and has some guarantee of working (video footage would help) and I would consider splashing out on one for me and my kids...

jbshack's picture
jbshack's picture
jbshack commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 3:58pm

The problem with regular video footage is, its very easy to edit something to show somethings that is not.. So thats why the government have said they will only provide the rebate to products that have been "Independently " tested. The Liberal government provided $600000 to UWA to test products a few years back and the only unit that they tested was the Shark shield freedom 7 dive unit. Other products are currently being tested also but sadly the cost is crazy and time seems to drag on for ever..
As for kids, my 13 year old surfs with his and me mine and it makes me feel very comfortable..

nogo's picture
nogo's picture
nogo commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 6:36pm

Wondering when you would turn up ;)

jbshack's picture
jbshack's picture
jbshack commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 3:59pm

The problem with regular video footage is, its very easy to edit something to show somethings that is not.. So thats why the government have said they will only provide the rebate to products that have been "Independently " tested. The Liberal government provided $600000 to UWA to test products a few years back and the only unit that they tested was the Shark shield freedom 7 dive unit. Other products are currently being tested also but sadly the cost is crazy and time seems to drag on for ever..
As for kids, my 13 year old surfs with his and me mine and it makes me feel very comfortable..

monk's picture
monk's picture
monk commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 5:57pm

Is it the FREEDOM+Surf that you are using? And did you get the rebate on this one? To be honest I have considered getting one, especially after reading all this, that maybe I could buy myself/my son a X-mas present. Did you also have to buy O&E tail-pads for each of your boards - must be a pain-in-the-ass pulling off all of the existing tail-pads - maybe another (less vital) reason people are not buying more often. Also worried about the thing breaking and being less with a bulky, obsolete tail-pad. Wondering if you had any of these thoughts/issues?

jbshack's picture
jbshack's picture
jbshack commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 8:08pm

No i'm not using the shark shield surf version. I have used the Rpela product for well over three years. The product is designed to fit into the surfboard and the power bank is interchangeable between boards. A local surfboard maker decided he wanted to make a product that works for surfboards so designed and manufactures them in WA. Katana surfboards in Osborne Park. The product was never considered for testing when the government paid for the shark shield dive unit to be tested. The product has been tested on Great whites in NZ, South Africa, and currently at Neptunes. His biggest market is Reunion island were they cant get enough. have a look and contact Dave Smith directly if you are interested. I am happy to answer but some people get upset at me pedalling a safety product, as they think it takes away from their option of culling.. www.rpela.com

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 3:42pm

uncle_leroy the issue is cost and access to Great Whites. I believe the Shark Shield dive unit was tested by UWA funded by WA government cost around $1mil.
Happy to be corrected but that is what I remember being told.
The other problem is access to the Whites you cannot just front up to Whites in Oz and start testing, permits / who / where and when are a nightmare if not impossible.
So the testing is generally done in SA still costs a motzza still dramas around access / who / where and when.
Testing has been carried out on the Surf Safe (Repla) unit with good results but getting the reports to an acceptable standard to make public claims is ongoing process.
I surf WA (Mandurah) and use a Repla (would be happy use a Shark Shield as well) and I think I am only 1 of roughly 3 or 4 people who surf the area that use a deterrent.
None of my mates use one and don't intend to, one of them had a run in a couple of months ago should have been taken but for what ever reason the White decided not to.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 2:32pm

yeah bring the boats and cages up to evans head,no shortage there

simba

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 2:49pm

Don't forget Ballina....we just got another one today.

SharkSmart‏ @NSWSharkSmart 3h3 hours ago
More
NSWDPI advise 2.24m Male White Shark caught on SMART drumlines at Shelly Beach Ballina. Shark tagged & released offshore.
0 replies 0 retweets 0 likes

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 3:45pm

yes its going to be interesting when they release the CSIRO report sometime before years out.....

simba

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 4:32pm

It will be interesting........

Assuming CSIRO scientist Barry Bruce is in charge.......he who has been one of the main proponents of white shark as endangered and authored the white shark recovery plan.

Science is science but human beings are human beings and Bruce and the CSIRO have a lot invested in the idea of white sharks as an endangered species.

Dean Mc's picture
Dean Mc's picture
Dean Mc commented Thursday, 2 Nov 2017 at 5:45am

You get the idea that people will only treat the threat of increasing the shark population is like when you see an old lady living with a house full of cats. My first suggestion would be to get some trawlers running down our beaches again. This would have to be some benefit to everyone coming into Christmas. Even the lady with the house full of cats could pay her power bill on time.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 5:36pm

Anyone seen this article? Did the fishos go through with it?

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/vigilantes-kill-great-...

Also, great footage from the ab diver and a noble aim to keep one GWS hotspot free of the cage diving, etc zoo.

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Friday, 27 Oct 2017 at 6:02pm
simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 27 Oct 2017 at 6:22pm

crazy stuff alrighty,how many times was that camera bumped,bitten and intimidated.......wouldn't like to be treading water there...good spot to trial shark shield etc.

simba

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Friday, 27 Oct 2017 at 6:58pm

That Marc Payne fella sounds like a certified lunatic...check this out...pity the video is no longer available.
https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/great-whites-know-they-rule-ng-ya-326207

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Monday, 30 Oct 2017 at 1:40pm

That was absolutely nuts. Notice the sharks were a male & female - wonder if they were paired for breeding? Seemed young adult sharks. The blue grouper pic in the article was great, too. You would think the groupers would just be cannon fodder for the whites but I'm informed they live in the rocks and at a certain size nothing really goes after them.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 7:22pm

Green's want reasons...
WA Uni won't guarantee gimmick against shark attacks.
Shark Shield's cut & paste promos whitewash themselves.

The said rebated model for Bodybasherz is not ocean friendly.
Firstly that dinky ankle pouch is OK for a dip but wouldn't hold up to a decent bodybash.
That cable would snag on rocks even tangle in Skegz legropes potentially drowning user.
Cable whipping in waveface striking endless charges to face & chest, even take out an eye.

Use in crowds may result in shocking of a child or death of an elderly heart patient .
Pop gets zapped by shield... Who done it ? Manufacturer/Uni/Govt/Council/Surfer ?
Basher entering flags where Shark shield would be banned. How does that work?

Quite clearly this demo product has a decade of research ahead.
What point is a shark friendly deterrent that's lethal to loved ones.
At this test stage it's the most deadly bodybash'n aid ever rolled out.

Impossible approval then Govt gold seal that's signature Qld whiteshoe brigade.
WA Great White Surf Safari Sacrifice as front-line defense for armed locals wins more votes.
Greens! Perhaps ask if Australians should ever again support such crooked divisive policy ?

jbshack's picture
jbshack's picture
jbshack commented Wednesday, 25 Oct 2017 at 8:26pm

Just to clarify the Shark shield is more powerful than the Rpela unit. The Rpela unit also doesn't have anything hanging of the board. A person would have to actually touch my surfboard to get any form of a zap, and its actually not as bad as people think.

I think the fact that this minster is looking into the market and reasons why people are not taking the uptake, even though it currently doesn't help surfers is testament of just how un educated this entire subject actually is right across the board.

The entire issue of sharks and water safety is the biggest political football. The entire field is full of miss information, people taking advantage of issues and making a quick buck, others trying to develop safety products that will help, anti cull greenies and people who just want to cull all the sharks. SO much discussion has happened over the last 5 years and really very little in the actual landscape has changed..

bigtreeman's picture
bigtreeman's picture
bigtreeman commented Friday, 27 Oct 2017 at 10:24am

Rpela are the only electronic devices designed for surfboards.
https://www.rpela.com/
Won't work if you don't fit and use them. The best test is for more surfers to use them.
If someone else out on the lineup had one fitted, I'd keep him close.
You would only need a number of units out at a break for some coverage.
Intermittent, fuck, find out what they do - 200V signal emitted between two electrodes 1 metre apart, careful if you have a heart condition. Yeah the signal would give you a decent safety buffer.
I now fit carriers to all the woody boards I build. $30
The active unit which can be shared with all your boards $300
They're easy to retrofit to foamies.
Young dickheads wouldn't, but older blokes responsible for families should use this practical, tested insurance. You insure you car, home, health.

Go well,
Colin

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 27 Oct 2017 at 6:44pm

Seems like a better system to me,very similar to SS but as stated designed by surfers for surfers .Can they be installed in an existing board thats already glassed or only new shapes?

simba

bigtreeman's picture
bigtreeman's picture
bigtreeman commented Friday, 27 Oct 2017 at 7:08pm

Got a router ?
https://www.rpela.com/installation-guide/
pretty easy, install in a woody is a bit different

Go well,
Colin

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 27 Oct 2017 at 7:30pm

step 7 with the wire could be a problem,maybe

simba

jbshack's picture
jbshack's picture
jbshack commented Friday, 27 Oct 2017 at 8:24pm

It costs me $150 to have them installed retro into boards. In a new board i paid less than a $100..

Plus then the power unit that just changes from board to board, as mentioned above.

bigtreeman's picture
bigtreeman's picture
bigtreeman commented Friday, 27 Oct 2017 at 9:32pm

I buy a few units at a time, and install myself.
cnc cut the hole as I'm cutting the hull, glue it in, semple.
better price for multiple power units.

Go well,
Colin

dastasha's picture
dastasha's picture
dastasha commented Thursday, 2 Nov 2017 at 8:20am

200 volts ay? Might get me a bit of space in the pack behind the rock at Snapper

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Friday, 27 Oct 2017 at 6:36pm

@ Quokka, incredible footage!

How's when those whites come straight at the camera, head on, such an intimidating sight. Such a simple looking yet complete predator.....

Crystal Clear

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Friday, 27 Oct 2017 at 7:26pm

Absolutely Rabs, how much do they look like pumped up young teenagers throwing their weight around.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Saturday, 28 Oct 2017 at 8:19pm

The greens are clueless ?. No surprise there. I thought we had nothing to fear from sharks, according to the greenest of shark lovers ,, so why would everyone go and buy a shark device if there was nothing to worry about , I mean , they're really only encounters anyway , and you have more chance of dying from 20 different bullshit scenarios , like bee stings , according to that way of thinking. I think the greens stance reeks of hypocrisy on this one. . Is there a rebate on anti bee devices ,, ??

jbshack's picture
jbshack's picture
jbshack commented Sunday, 29 Oct 2017 at 7:58pm

Actually yes there is, The government subside the cost of Eppi pens heavily..

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Sunday, 29 Oct 2017 at 9:17pm

Yes , but an eppi pen is not a deterrent to bees.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Sunday, 29 Oct 2017 at 2:11am

Man, the first Shark Shield I bought was a wraparound. Wraparound your leg, with a leading thing. Just by the mass of it, if I went surfing with it, I would feel safe. In hindsight, a little bit like Thor, striking the offending shark ( and elecrotuing myself at the same time).

I sold it for a good price.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Monday, 30 Oct 2017 at 9:01pm

Do you work night shift or just have benders every weekend?

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Monday, 30 Oct 2017 at 10:52pm

It has become sort of a job over the last couple of years. I was going to put a stop it, I was on The Guardian, but cancelled my profile ( for the third time) after getting really pissed of with a guy on a topic about Che Guevara. I was pro he was con, but I had stories to back me up about how he was a nice guy to start with.

I do have benders during the week (this is not one of them), that is usually when the moon is full. So you could say it is has been casual, permanent, night shift. Though I have been thinking a lot about death and all these bastards dieing at sixtie or so. That I should be doing something constructive before I kick the bucket.

So I suppose the upstart of it is, when I start working, inventible as all inevitability, I go somewhere else, feeling like a goose the next day and swearing it will not happen again. Of all my jobs (and there has been many), I am quite good at it I think?

Note - My last job was a casual traffic controller, man, that is a shit job! Before that, working with a German company, Socialdata, delivering stuff, (long time ago) man, that was such a easy job! I will delete my profile here, I am not paying membership now, so I am taking liberties really. Thanks for asking.

Dean Mc's picture
Dean Mc's picture
Dean Mc commented Sunday, 29 Oct 2017 at 7:07am

I don't know if this has already been suggested, but why not combine a device that will zap the shark as part of their tag unit. When the tagged shark gets close he or she gets a big jolt. Maybe even a system in place where too many close encounters and the shark becomes cat food. A leg rope could pre warn a surfer when the tagged shark is around possibly. We could have some chance of getting a wave in.

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Monday, 30 Oct 2017 at 3:21pm

I'm thinking good idea in principal Dean, so the tag zaps the noah when it gets close to someone using a deterant device? Maybe the device can send out a different pulse to communicate with the tag that has a broader range. Still have the electromagnetic field being emitted in case it shakes off the zap from the tag and gets close...if it did that you're probably fucked anyway as it's made it's mind up.

happyasS's picture
happyasS's picture
happyasS commented Monday, 30 Oct 2017 at 6:00pm

could be an option possibly, would need a more sizeable tag (power requirements) and probably wouldn't work if its in the fin....but if the field only works to 3-6m then the shark has probably already made its mind up by then. would be nice to see the scientific basis of how it work or would not work.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Thursday, 2 Nov 2017 at 4:28am

That is to high tech, the sharks would get to know you and you, with memory, would know the sharks. That is inappropriate.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Sunday, 29 Oct 2017 at 9:30pm

What happened to promoting punching and eye gouging?? Call me old school , but I say bring back the biff.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Tuesday, 7 Nov 2017 at 9:36pm

I remember reading of a Chinese fisherman, can't remember where, on being chomped by a shark on the neck, he stuck his fingers in its eyes. There was a photo of said Chinese fisherman with a scar around his neck. I, now in my wisdom (I was a teenager when I read it), have great doubts about the stories veracity.

I have this fantasy, (steady), whereupon being attacked by a shark, the shark leaps and I do a jump of my board. Then straddling the shark, like in a rodeo, I proceed to beat the shit out of the shark. The shark leaves and I am in the water, abusing the shark as it leaves. I get on the news and everything.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Wednesday, 8 Nov 2017 at 12:23am

The alternative to that story, is I hold on, like the shark version of Big Blue.

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Monday, 30 Oct 2017 at 6:36pm

Thinking about it though, I reckon it makes sense to most people but I reckon the shark huggers would crack the shits about cruelty to animals blah blah blah.
It's no different to dogs that wear those collars that give them a jolt when they bark.

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Wednesday, 8 Nov 2017 at 12:24am

I pity your dog.

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Wednesday, 8 Nov 2017 at 1:17pm

My dog...why's that big fella?

Mort's picture
Mort's picture
Mort commented Tuesday, 14 Nov 2017 at 10:23pm

I will bite, little fella. You have no concept of others pain.

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Wednesday, 15 Nov 2017 at 12:03pm

I don't have a dog and you're a liar you were going to cancel your subscription.

jbshack's picture
jbshack's picture
jbshack commented Friday, 3 Nov 2017 at 9:35pm

This GWN news story yesterday was brought about from this original thread so hopefully its okay to share .
https://youtu.be/7Fa_lQBsjiA

southernsealspirit's picture
southernsealspirit's picture
southernsealspirit commented Tuesday, 7 Nov 2017 at 6:44pm

I too am a big fan of the Rpela unit, it is really simple to install and is interchangeable easily between boards.
I grew up around Margies but now live in Byron, I'm suprised that there's not more surfers installing these. I surf the open beaches a lot, there's plenty of wildlife out there and it does add to peace of mind
Hopefully Dave at https://www.rpela.com/ gets approval soon for the rebate so the word gets out
Definitely recommended

Geoffro

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 8 Nov 2017 at 2:08am

It's fair to seek a universal deterrent that suits all ocean users...be they human or pets.
A lightweight multi fit bracelet to wed any limb would be obvious and affordable.
Now for that perfect tune...We know piped orchestra music rids alpha males from malls.

We also know that Navy sonar beaches whales so shouldn't shooing sharks should be easy.
All we do is amp up Dick Tracey bracelet to vol- 11, switch to Supersonic Killer Whale FX.
At the very least it passes green test and is miles more scary to sharks than acme joy buzzer.

Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy commented Sunday, 12 Nov 2017 at 11:15am

Evers was in the paper last week, up to 650 applications, 7% were from the under 25 age group, NSW Govt is trialling the WA device Rpela. Low awareness of the rebate and whether devices actually deter sharks, along with the current rebate only applies to a non surfing specific product were the main reasons for low applicants to the scheme according to a survey they did with surfers. They are now doing independent tests on surfing specific devices in WA.