Over the past couple of years encounters between people and sharks have received a huge amount of public attention. This is particularly true in Western Australia, where five reported fatal encounters tragically took place in a 10 month period during 2011 and 2012. In response to the fatalities, the Government of Western Australia has introduced new measures in shark management, including enabling Department of Fisheries to ‘track, catch and, if necessary, destroy sharks identified in close proximity to beachgoers’ (Gov. of WA, 27 September 2012).
We are two researchers working at the University of Wollongong and University of New England interested in learning more about the views of ocean-users on this topic. We want to better understand the WA government response to recent events, and the implications of the new approach.
We’re particularly interested in hearing from you – as an ocean-user – about your ocean-based activities, your sightings or encounters with sharks (if you’ve had any), and your attitudes towards sharks and shark management.
We have designed a survey that we hope you’ll fill out. It should take around 15 minutes to complete. Your responses will be anonymous, and you can decide to withdraw from the survey at any time. When we have finished collecting the surveys, we plan to write about and publish our results in academic journals and public forums, and present them at relevant conferences. We hope they will also be used to inform public debates and policy.
If you have any questions about the survey, or our research more broadly, you can contact us by email: Leah Gibbs (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Andrew Warren (email@example.com). If you have any concerns or complaints about the way the research is conducted, you should contact the University of Wollongong Ethics Officer on 02 4221 4457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you very much for helping us with our research.