Multiple shark activations off Ocean Reef
North Mullaloo Beach has been closed. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian

UPDATE 3.50pm: The Government has called for submissions for research into shark deterrents, with $2 million available for WA projects aimed at protecting beachgoers.

Science and Innovation Minister John Day said a Shark Hazard Advisory Research Committee, chaired by WA’s chief scientist Lyn Beazley, would assess the applications.

Mr Day made the announcement at Mullaloo.

At nearby Ocean Reef, a shark alert beacon had been triggered at least 24 times since midnight.

The City of Joondalup has closed beaches from North Mullaloo to Ocean Reef all day.

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter is patrolling the area.

Yesterday rangers closed the beaches around the Ocean Reef Marina for several hours after a tagged great white was detected.

Beaches 500m either side of the marina were closed twice yesterday.

On Sunday a great white was detected at Ocean Reef and City of Joondalup rangers closed several beaches near the harbour.

The City of Busselton has closed the beach along the Busselton foreshore after a 2.5m shark was spotted 10m offshore east of the Busselton jetty this morning.

Beach 50m either side of the siting has been closed.

Applications for the first round of funding are open now and close on November 21, with Mr Day expecting the first grants could be awarded in December.

Mr Day said the funding hoped innovative research to reduce the risk of shark attacks could be developed faster and hopefully in time for next summer.

He said grants of up to $300,000 over three years would be available to WA-based organisations, including universities, research institutes, industry and not-for-profit organisations.

“We hope there will be additional research into maybe better camouflage suits for surfers and swimmers, better shield devices, better detection mechanisms, improved monitoring of shark activity and maybe some additional repellent mechanisms that are better able to protect the community from shark attacks,” he said.

“One idea that is being trialled at the moment is a camouflage suit, which is essentially striped to better protect surfers and swimmers so they look less like seals so the shark can see the contrast.

“A lot of shark attacks we believe are as a result of sharks thinking that humans are food of course and look rather like seals.

The $2 million is part of a $6.85 million package announced by the State Government last month to improve safety on WA beaches after a spate of fatal shark attacks.

The West Australian

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