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WA’s own RPELA added to Shark Deterrent Rebate scheme

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Liam Wignell
great white shark
// // A $200 rebate now applies to all purchases of the WA-made device...

A WA-manufactured shark deterrent device for surfers is now subsidised thanks to a state government shark mitigation program.

Eligible purchases of the scientifically-proven RPELA v2 surf device will receive a $200 Shark Deterrent Rebate, a world-first subsidy.

RPELA generates an electromagnetic field around the surfboard that deters sharks. Cardno Australia independently tested the device at Salisbury Island, WA, before publishing the findings in a study.

Under baited testing conditions, the study found that RPELA v2 significantly reduced the probability of a shark bite from 75% to 25%. Subsequently, researchers from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development recommend the device be included in the scheme.

The locally-made device will join the two excising devices that are eligible for the rebate; the Ocean Guardian FREEDOM+ Surf (Bundle) and the Ocean Guardian FREEDOM7. To date, over 7,000 rebates have been claimed since the scheme was introduced in 2017.

The device can be purchased directly from the manufacturer.

WA's own RPELA added to Shark Deterrent Rebate scheme
The RPELA device. Image – RPELA.

We are excited and pleased the government has endorsed the RPELA – a locally made product  – which can now be purchased at a more affordable price.

We are excited about the next phase of our journey.

Dave Smith, RPELA founder

The announcement comes as the state government announced an additional $5 million last year to meet demand for not just subsidised shark deterrent devices, but also for increased shark tagging and funding for beach enclosures.

$11.9 million was also allocated in the most recent state budget for beach and aerial patrols, communications systems and the jet ski response team.

Fisheries (and former Innovation) Minister Don Punch said the scheme had been well supported over the past four years, and it was exciting to see a locally made product be added to the list of approved devices.

“I strongly encourage divers and surfers to take advantage of the rebates and purchase a potentially life-saving device – with even greater choices now available with the addition of the RPELA v2 surf device product to the scheme,” said Mr Punch.

I also encourage anyone heading to the beach over the April school holidays to download the SharkSmart WA app so they can keep up-to-date with the latest beach safety information and warnings.

Don Punch, Fisheries Minister

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Picture of Liam Wignell

Liam Wignell

Liam has extensive experience across marketing, procurement and project management roles in both the public and private sector. He contributed to Startup News from 2020 to 2023 and was contracted as Managing Editor in 2022.
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