Shark conservation bus makes a splash

Claire Tyrrell

A 5m great white shark caught in Albany 35 years ago is travelling the continent on a 1950s bus to help dispel myths about sharks.

Paul Sharp, of Bassendean, is taking his Shark in a Bus mobile museum nationwide from Monday after a three-month tour of the North-West.

"I spent time in Coral Bay, Exmouth, Carnarvon, Geraldton and Shark Bay and I am about to undertake a tour of the east coast," he said.

"I believe sharks are not out there to eat people and they need to be looked after.

"With the right research and understanding, we can co-exist with them and minimise any negative interaction."

The environmentalist began restoring his 1957 Leyland bus six years ago and filled it with marine artefacts accumulated over four decades.

"It contains whaling artefacts including harpoons, fossils, sawfish bills, shell collections, diving gear, a great white shark and a piece of Skylab," he said.

Mr Sharp recovered the famous space junk in Esperance several years ago.

The US Skylab space station crashed in the late 1970s and he was only a boy when a relative caught the great white off Albany in 1978.

The upcoming tour will be the first time Mr Sharp has taken the bus out of WA.

He said the collection reflected his lifelong fascination with sharks and marine wildlife.

"I have done thousands of dives with sharks and seen great whites while I have been diving," he said. "I have a great love for the marine environment and I enjoy sharing it with people."

Proceeds from museum entry fees are donated to Mr Sharp's Two Hands Project, which encourages people to clean up plastic pollution to protect marine wildlife.

The travelling museum will be in Fremantle until the end of this week. To track the tour, see the Shark on a Bus Facebook page.