The Fisheries Department has extra resources on the water following the arrival of a new patrol boat based at Port Geographe Marina.
The vessel, worth nearly $500,000, will help the State Government police the newly created Ngari Capes Marine Park.
Fisheries Minister Norman Moore said the patrol boat would modernise the South-West fleet and enhance the Department of Fisheries’ capacity in the region.
“This vessel is well-suited for patrol work along the coastline for compliance checks and education, particularly in regard to the newly created Ngari Capes Marine Park,” he said.
“The selection of the bigger, rigid inflatable design will give Fisheries and marine officers the opportunity to safely conduct at-sea inspections of commercial and recreational vessels in a wider range of weather conditions.’’
The boat has room for six people on board, it can reach a top speed of 43knots and can be used for rescue purposes as well as compliance inspections.
Inflatable collars reduce risk of injury or damage to property when the boat is alongside other vessels and it has greater range, making overnight patrols feasible.
Minister Moore said the boat would not be used to hunt sharks if a kill order was issued again, but it could be used for spotting sharks.
He said Fisheries was still in negotiations with commercial fishermen who could be called upon in the event of a future kill order being issued, but no arrangements had yet been finalised.
The primary purpose was to reduce response times should a kill order be issued and fishermen would have to work within the same laws and guidelines as Fisheries, he added.