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Non-lethal shark innovation offers world-class opportunity



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MEDIA STATEMENT 9 FEBRUARY 2016

Non-lethal shark innovation offers world-class opportunity

Senator for Western Australia Dio Wang will meet with the Government and Australia’s peak scientific body today about his proposal for Australia to be a world leader in non-lethal shark deterrent innovations.

In a letter to Innovation and Science Minister Christopher Pyne in December, Senator Wang noted that Australia was ideally placed to lead the world in providing non-lethal solutions to better balance human safety and marine biodiversity.

“From coast to coast, state governments are throwing millions of dollars into research and the development of non-lethal mitigation strategies for shark attacks, prompted by a rising tide of public angst over the impacts on our coastal lifestyle,” he said.

“We have seen a proliferation of personal shark repellent devices - such as one from my home state of Western Australia that has received global interest - as well as other technological innovations aimed at giving confidence to people in using their ocean environment.

“However there is no national coordination of this research and innovation, with CSIRO work in this area focused on shark populations. Indeed, questions have been raised recently in the media about whether some tagging programs to monitor sharks could be increasing the risk of attacks on humans.

“Additionally, there have been recent concerns about the potential for consumer exploitation due to a lack of independent, coordinated testing on the efficacy of some of these so-called shark repellents.”

Senator Wang wrote to the Innovation Minister to highlight the benefits of the Government strategically coordinating the ad hoc research in this area across Australia.

Today, Senator Wang meets with the Minister and CSIRO to discuss this proposal and looks forward to their insights and feedback.

ENDS

Attached: Letter from Senator Zhenya Wang to Innovation and Science Minister Christopher Pyne, 3 December 2015

Media Contact: Narelle Hine T 0477 030 161 E narelle.hine@aph.gov.au Follow @senatorzwang