The Government has launched a $30 million trial of toy shark cages, toys to keep children safe from shark bites and toys to prevent babies from falling into shark pits, which is intended to keep sharks at bay and reduce the numbers of babies dying from the bite.
Key points:Toys to keep baby sharks entertained and protectedThe trial is set to be launched on November 16The trial will involve around 5,000 sharksThe trial has been rolled out in Queensland and South AustraliaThe trial, funded by the Department of Health, is set up as part of a $15 million trial by the Australian National University, which aims to provide toys to children with a range of health and behavioural issues.
Key items in the trial include:The Shark Bay Foundation, which supports Shark Bay shark rescues, said the trial would be “totally unprecedented”.
“The Shark Cove trial is an unprecedented opportunity to ensure that all our children’s favourite toys, games, and experiences are safe for children of all ages to enjoy,” it said.
“With the current rate of deaths of young Australian children from shark attacks, we can only hope that the trial results will inspire others to follow suit.”
The trial started last year, with the Queensland Government setting aside $15,000 from the $30m Shark Cove fund to launch it.
“We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Technology to develop the Shark Cove Trial, which will involve a total of 5,500 sharks,” a Queensland Government spokesman said.
“The trial was a critical element in establishing the Queensland Shark Bay Authority, which has now funded the development of Shark Cove as a safe and fun destination for our children.”
The Queensland Government said it was pleased the trial was underway in Queensland, which had the highest rate of shark bites in the country.
“The Queensland Shark Cove Sharkbite Prevention Project will be a great opportunity for children and young people to discover the thrill of sharks, learn about shark behaviour and enjoy the excitement of watching their favourite toys,” Queensland Environment Minister Lisa Neville said.
In a statement the Department said the project had been designed to “bring together all the relevant stakeholders to achieve the best possible outcome”.
“We have taken the lead on shark education in Queensland to ensure the trials will have a positive impact on the environment and the lives of all Queenslanders,” it added.
“It is important that we are ensuring that all children have safe access to their favourite activities and toys.”
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