Despite your chances of being attacked being extremely low, there are still many ways you can reduce your likelihood of a shark encounter.

The following recommendations come from a number of sources, including the Government of Western Australia Department of Fisheries and Taronga Zoo:

  • Stay out of the water if sharks have been sighted in the area
  • Stay close to shore (within 30m of the water’s edge)
  • Swim at patrolled beaches
  • Don’t go in the water alone (stay in groups)
  • Avoid water temperatures lower than 22C
  • Avoid water depths of greater than 5m when swimming or surfing
  • Avoid swimming after heavy storms, or in low light conditions (dusk, dawn and night)
  • Avoid swimming if there are seals, dolphins, whales, baitfish or large schools of fish nearby
  • Do not swim in dirty or turbid water
  • Avoid swimming far offshore, near deep channels or along drop-offs to deeper water as this is where sharks are more likely to inhabit
  • Avoid entering the ocean near a river mouth, especially after a rainstorm (rain can wash food items into the sea, attracting fish and sharks)
  • Do not swim near people who are fishing or spear fishing (these activities attract sharks)
  • Do not swim with pets (this attracts sharks)
  • Look carefully before jumping off rocks, boats or wharfs (people have jumped on sharks)
  • Do not wear shiny jewelry as this attracts sharks 

The below infographic is available for download, keep it nearby, especially as we head into summer and hit the beach:


Dorsal (app):

Dorsal is Australia’s largest sharks alerts and reporting service. The phone app provides free access to alerts on shark sightings across Australia, including details on location, size and shark breed if possible. The app already has over 150,000 users and growing. The company is also currently working on the development of a waterproof wearable that will hook up to the various data sources to alert people of shark sightings while in water. If you are particularly concerned about the presence of sharks, checking Dorsal and where shark sightings have been over the last day or two, can be another way to put your mind at ease.



Feature photo: @franceduque



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