We surveyed 663 regular snorkelers from Perth to get their opinion on the best local snorkel spots, safety and sharks! This pool of participants was sourced from Reef Mask's Perth customer base as well as the Perth snorkel Facebook group.
Key take aways:
- 75.88% of Perth snorkelers surveyed have seen a shark while in the water!
- 83.08% of Perth snorkelers surveyed believe the government should be doing more to educate the public about shark safety.
- 75.29% strongly oppose any forms of shark culling!
Hollywood played a massive role in magnifying the excessive fear of being killed by a shark once you wade into the ocean's depth. So it is not surprising that many snorkelers may feel that sense of fear whenever they are in the waters.
However, our survey results showed that 67. 16% of snorkelers in Perth said that they have never felt in danger when snorkeling, while 32.84% of the respondents disclosed that they do feel a sense of fear when snorkeling.
Newbie snorkeler? Then perfect your skills at the Coogee Matimetrail Beach.
Snorkeling is an enjoyable, adrenalin-pumping activity. However, several factors may determine whether your snorkeling experience would be a memorable and fulfilled adventure or a tedious and dangerous event.
Lack of knowledge about the conditions of the waters can expose first-time snorkelers to potentially hazardous situations. Our survey report showed that 54.54% of respondents said that the Coogee Matimetrail beach was the best for beginners in snorkeling.
The report further revealed that 20.18% favored Mettams Pool, 10.33% for Rockingham, 9.09% for Hilary Marina, while 5.86% for Port Beach.
Perth Beaches: A haven for sharks.
Shark sightings at Perth Beach in western Australia are quite a common occurrence. Recently there has been a spate of constant shark sightings in Perth beaches, prompting the authorities to issue shark warnings to beachgoers.
Our survey of snorkelers in Perth beach showed that 75.88% of the respondents had sighted a shark while snorkeling. These findings corroborate the recent shark sightings widely reported in the media. However, 24.12% of the snorkelers asserted they had not seen any shark in the area.
Turn on your ocean sense: Stay up to date with the latest shark activity information with the WA shark track.
Aside from shark safety education, beachgoers can now monitor shark activities near them. The tagging of sharks by marine scientists for easy tracking has been on the increase in recent times. The use of shark tracking app is gaining immense popularity among snorkelers and beachgoers as more people become aware of its tremendous benefit.
In our recent survey, of regular snorkelers in Perth beach, 77. 31% of the respondents disclosed that they were aware of the WA shark track app, while 28.67% said they were not.
Reduce your risk of shark interaction by protecting yourself with the WA shark track app
Sharks are tracked for various reasons, including learning about their behaviour and pattern of migration and protecting beachgoers by reducing their risk of shark interactions. The authorities developed the WA shark track app to inform the public about shark sightings and public education about sharks.
In our survey on snorkelers in Perth beach, 81.82% of the respondents would have downloaded the WA shark tracker to monitor shark activity, including current alerts and warnings. Only 18.18% of the respondents are yet to download the app indicating a high download rate among snorkelers in Perth beach.
The government should invest in prompt emergency response and not shark nets
The use of lethal methods of curbing shark-human interaction, such as shark nets is destructive and cruel.
Shark nets are a lethal shark management procedure and do not guarantee beachgoer’s safety. Interestingly, 77.78% of the respondents in our survey indicated that the government should not implement shark nets across Perth's beaches. However, 22.22% of regular snorkelers believed the government should implement shark nets in Perth beach.
Less shark-human interaction is as simple as investing more in shark education and safety
Investing in shark education programs by the government is a sure way of reducing the risk posed by sharks' activities in the seas. While death arising from a shark attack is a rarity, the authorities must educate the public on the best ways to keep themselves safe while at the beach.
It is essential to note that most shark attack fatalities are from white sharks and that sharks may bite if they feel threatened. Our survey report on snorkelers in Perth beach supported this assertion as 83.08% of the respondents believe the government should educate the public about the beach and shark safety. 10.22% were not in support while 6.70% were unsure.
Why worry! You are more likely to die from falling of seat than from a shark attack
December 2020 witnessed the sighting of a massive white shark in the waters of Cottlesloe beach. The findings prompted the authorities to close down the coast. Interestingly, our survey report on snorkelers in Perth beach after the Cottlesloe shark sighting showed that 74.12% of the respondents are not nervous about going snorkeling during this summer.
The Cottlesloe beach shark sighting event may have forced 15.78% of respondents to say are indeed worried about going snorkeling this summer, while 10.10% were unsure.
West Aussies say NO to shark culling!
There is a misconception that sharks would always eat a human regardless of their menu choice. Such erroneous belief has fuelled sharks' culling in the vicinity of swimming beaches by the use of baited drum lines.
Culling of sharks has shown to be an ineffective way of reducing the risk of shark attacks on beachgoers. Our survey report supports this assertion as 75.29% of regular snorkelers in Perth beach said they would never support the idea of shark culling in the area.
Nonetheless, 9.62% of the respondents disclosed that they would support it, while 15. 09% said they are very much open to the idea. The report implies that a majority of the snorkelers in Perth beach are opposed to the concept of shark culling but favor investing in shark education programs as a means of protecting beachgoers.