Ocean-users and sharks in Western Australia

Do you use the ocean in Western Australia?

If so, we would really appreciate your help with our research. Please click here to fill out our survey. It should take about 15 minutes to complete.

Source: theconversation.edu.au

Over the past couple of years encounters between people and sharks have received a huge amount of public attention. This is particularly true in Western Australia, where five reported fatal encounters tragically took place in a 10 month period during 2011 and 2012. In response to the fatalities, the Government of Western Australia has introduced new measures in shark management, including enabling Department of Fisheries to ‘track, catch and, if necessary, destroy sharks identified in close proximity to beachgoers’ (Gov. of WA, 27 September 2012).

We are two researchers working at the University of Wollongong (Leah Gibbs) and University of New England (Andrew Warren) interested in learning more about the views of ocean-users on this topic. We want to better understand the WA government response to recent events, and the implications of the new approach. We’re particularly interested in hearing from you – as an ocean-user – about your ocean-based activities, your sightings or encounters with sharks (if you’ve had any), and your attitudes towards sharks and shark management.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Leah Gibbs (leah@uow.edu.au).

Thanks in advance for your help with our research.

Leah Gibbs & Andrew Warren


Bulli Beach rip current experiments – volunteers needed!

Feel like a break at the beach with some research involved? Eureka Prize winner Dr Rob Brander (‘Dr Rip’!) of The University of New South Wales is running some experiments on rip currents at Bulli Beach from Feb 4-8 and 11-15. He needs lots of volunteers to help out by putting GPS drifters in the rips and, if you are a good swimmer, jumping in rips with GPS on to test out various escape strategies. Don’t worry, there will be lifeguards at the beach at all times! It’s been done at several beaches already and is an important and fun experiment. Experiments usually run for about 3-4 hours each day. You can help out for a day, two days or the whole week(s). Food is provided and if you’re not a local, accommodation as well. Please contact Rob at rbrander@unsw.edu.au if you’d like to help out. For more information on Rob’s award-winning program on surf safety and community awareness check out www.scienceofthesurf.com.


All washed up: have surf megabrands forgotten their roots?

Yesterday’s announcement that iconic brand Rip Curl plans to sell-up raises the question: just what has happened to Australia’s iconic surf brands?

It has been well publicised that the big three surf labels – Rip Curl, Quiksilver and Billabong – have experienced shrinking sales and expanding debts. Suburban consumers have turned away from expensive surf-branded apparel. Coupled with the rise of online shopping, doubts are growing about the future viability of corporatised surf brands

Read the full article by Andrew Warren and Chris Gibson at The Conversation