The Department of Fisheries’ (DoF) primary responsibility is to conserve, sustainably develop and share the use of Western Australia’s aquatic resources and their ecosystems for the benefit of present and future generations. As part of this, DoF required an API for use by GovHack allowing for an effective and efficient means of access to the data stored about shark movements, allowing the Australian development community to innovate around shark safety and help inform Australians who love to use our amazing coastline.

The Challenge

Department of Fisheries wished to help Western Australian developers get access to the SharkSmart data – which was able to communicate information to swimmers, surfers and divers in Western Australia in real time, and provide them with information on sightings and tagged shark detections before hitting the water.

The Solution

To solve the Department of Fisheries' problem, Integranet created the api.fish.wa.gov.au website which allows developers (and specifically those developers who have registered for GovHack) access to the SharkSmart information currently used by swimmers, surfers and divers to check shark activity before they go to the beach, as well as being able to report shark sightings.

This API is extensively documented, and provides fully worked examples of how to access the dataset provided as well as expected results. This API has allowed the department to add itself to the ever growing list of government organisations exposing their data via the OpenData Initiative.

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