MP Colin Degrussa privately funds shark warning sign near Kelp Beds, Wylie Bay

Increased shark behavior near Wylie Bay has lead locals to take matters into their own hands. 

A new warning sign, which can be updated via the internet, has been set up on the way to Kelp Beds, where a fatal shark attacked occured in April. 

Member for the Agricultural Region Colin de Grussa funded the venture out of his own pocket and it is on trial for the next two months.

Mr de Grussa said he hired the sign for $3500 on his way back from Perth after hearing of the recent shark activitiy. 

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He said the idea came up after meeting up with local wildlife filmmaker David Riggs to discuss the sightings sharks behaving aggressively.

“I recall having very similar conversations with him a few years ago and it wouldn’t have been two weeks later when Sean Pollard was attacked,” he said.

“We did push this through fairly quickly, it was a bit of a split-second decision to get something happening while I was on the way back from Perth and while this activity was happening.”

Mr de Grussa said he choose this particular sign because it could be updated remotely with information from SharkSmart and other sources.

He said the project was not done through “normal channels” but the Shire of Esperance had been very supportive.

Mr de Grussa urged community members and the Esperance Ocean Safety and Support group to give feedback on the project.

Group organiser local surfer Mitch Capelli previously expressed his enthusiasm for this kind of sign while talking about ways to keep people safe from sharks during the more dangerous months of October to December.

“Prevention requires intervention and this is a small step but it’s definitely a positive step, helping that communication breakdown that so easily happens out there [in the ocean].

Mr Capellia said tourists and visitors were particularly vulnerable because they may not be kept up to date on shark movements through local social media pages.

The concept of a similar warning sign was also put forward at last month’s Ocean Safety Forum.

Esperance Express