Shark monitoring map aids decision making

By on 2 June, 2015

shark map

Previously unreleased data on shark locations has been made publicly available as part of an award-winning Western Australian shark research map that’s helping marine-based businesses gain new insights into ecology and public safety in the region.

Developed by the WA Department of Fisheries using technology from Esri Australia, the interactive Shark Monitoring Network Research Map allows users to explore data collected by the Department of Fisheries’ Shark Monitoring Network (SMN) and the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN). It details the type and number of sharks and other fish detected, the times at which recordings were made and the pathways they use to travel around the coast, based on sensors at various locations from Perth to Esperance.

The map is part of the WA Government’s Sharksmart website, one of a range of new government initiatives aimed at making beaches safer and improving community awareness of shark activity.

WA Department of Fisheries Manager of Geospatial Services Brett Harrison said the tool will be used by public safety agencies, other marine businesses and members of the public interested in accessing shark activity information.

“The smart map provides previously unavailable data collected through our Shark Monitoring Network Research program,” Mr Harrison said.

“It displays the species and quantity of tagged sharks and other fish that have been detected by receivers, as well as the location and period of time in which they were detected.

“This is highly valuable information for industries and business operators that work in coastal waters, such as scuba and fishing tour operators, who may use the information to assist them in carrying out their own risk assessment of locations.

“The map can also inform users such as Surf Life Saving WA and Western Australia Police about the presence of sharks so they can better monitor swimming areas for beachgoers.”

To access the Shark Monitoring Network Research Map, visit the Sharksmart website.

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