Sharks attacks are making Perth residents increasingly reluctant to go to the beach, research group Roy Morgan says.
In five summers the people of Perth have gone from most likely to go to the beach to the least likely.
In the summer of 2009-10, a peak of 56% of Perth residents reported having visited a beach, either locally or elsewhere, within the past three months. In terms of people most likely to hit the sand Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide each peaked at 49%, and Sydney at 45% that summer.
In the summer of 2010-11, residents hitting the beach fell in all capital cities except Sydney.
Since then beach-going rates have been declining in all capital cities except Adelaide. Although last year a 1% fall was recorded in the South Australian capital.
But its Perth which has recorded the biggest drop where its more likely people won’t visit the beach.
“The decline in the rate of beach-going among Perth residents over this time could be naturally attributed to a spate of shark attacks, many from great whites and many fatal, off the WA coast since mid-2010,” Roy Morgan said.
Nationally 8.7 million Australians went to the beach at least once in the summer of 2013-14. That translates to about 45% of people over 14 years old and is the highest proportion since 2009-10.
Here’s the chart.
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