Greg Pickering, a professional abalone diver in his mid-50’s was lucky to survive a shark attack while diving
in waters off Poison Creek beach, 160 kilometres east of the town of Esperance, Western Australia, on 8th October.
With five fatal attacks due to Great White Sharks in the past two years and this most recent attack, Western Australia is vying for the unenviable title of “Shark Capital of the World”.
Sadly, as well as spoiling the fun of millions of Australians it also means the Australian ocean sport and tourism industries are suffering significantly from the fear of shark attacks, with many surf and dive shops seeing a 40 per cent decline in revenue.
But the Australian company behind Shark Shield, the world’s only scientifically proven and independently tested electronic shark deterrent, believes the reduced popularity of aquatic sports is unnecessary and a better understanding of electronic shark deterrents would go a long way to reducing concerns about taking to the ocean.
The Shark Shield provides a clear level of protection not only for professional ocean users like abalone divers but recreational users like surfers, spear fishers and scuba divers. Getting that message across, however, has proved problematic.
“It’s incredibly frustrating that a product that is so well proven with 20 years of scientific research, significant independent testing and a long history of saving lives can be so misunderstood,” said Lindsay Lyon, Executive Chairman of Shark Shield.
“When the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) released its independent Shark Shield research in 2012, several media outlets incorrectly reported and sensationalised the results as device failures. “We did not see the media even comment on the tests using towed seal decoys. In this set of tests (186 tows) with the Shark Shield turned off, there were 16 breaches and 27 surface interactions. But with the Shark Shield...
Five people have been killed by sharks off Western Australia’s southwest coast in less than a year.
Sharks have a sixth sense, allowing them to detect electro-magnetic fields caused by the movement of fish and other potential prey. Ocean-lovers in Cape Town are using a device that repels sharks by emitting an electrical wave form.
The Shark Shield was invented in South Africa in the 1990s, and is now made in Australia. Divers of University of Cape Town Zoology Department are among users of the Shark Shield.
Andrea Plos, head diving supervisor, explains where the elliptical field that surrounds the user emanates from. “It’s the whip part of your shark shield, and it dangles behind you, and what you must try to make sure is that no one bumps into it or touches it. It will tend to give you a bit of a shock.”
For Plos and these University student divers, having the shark shield gives peace of mind. “As scientific divers we spend a considerable amount of time in the water, often in high risk areas, and with zero visibility, and it just adds a level of safety and reduces the risk while in the water.”
Thus far the shark shield has proven its worth.
“We’ve never had any incidents while wearing the shark shield, and we have dived in very risky areas with lots of Great Whites,” says Plos.
What the shark shield deterrent does is to overwhelm the sixth electric sense that shark’s possess. As the shark comes closer to the device, increasingly uncomfortable spasms occur in the snout area, which should then result in the shark veering away.
Other shark shield users include surfers, such as Neil Uys. He feels safer with the device attached to his surf board, even though he is concerned about sharks that may be in attack or predatory...
Surfers, kite surfers, swimmers, snorkelers — they’ve all suffered attacks by sharks in Hawaii this year.
Tragically, a 20-year-old German visitor died after being attacked by a shark off Maui earlier this month. Jana Lutteropp was snorkeling at White Rock Beach in Makena, Maui, when the shark attacked, as reported by CNN 22nd Aug 2013
It was the fifth shark attack off the Valley Isle in recent months and in total eight people have been bitten by sharks this year, including four in the past three weeks.
The spate of attacks has left experts puzzled, and groping for answers and local Hawaiian scuba diving and spearfishing businesses struggling. But is there already a proven solution to preventing shark attacks?
Shark Shield, the Australian manufacturer of a patented shark deterrent, believes attacks could have been avoided if its electrical shark deterrent, the Shark Shield FREEDOM7, had been worn.
The company’s electrical shark deterrent is the result of more than 20 years of scientific research by some of the world’s leading experts in sharks including the KwaZulu-Natal Shark Board of South Africa.
The result of these two decades of research and development is the Shark Shield FREEDOM7, the only scientific proven and independently tested electrical shark deterrent designed to reduce the risk of an unwanted shark encounter.
In 2012, scientists from SARDI (South Australian Research Institute) released detailed research where they conducted 116 static bait trials on the Shark Shield FREEDOM7 near the Neptune Islands of South Australia and 189 dynamic trials using seal decoy tows near Seal Island, South Africa.
In the static test, the product significantly increased the time for sharks to take the bait. Once the device was activated, observers noticed a decrease in interactions within two meters. Throughout the seal decoy tow tests, there were no breaches and only two at-surface interactions when the device was...
Shark Shield this week announced the opening of its first U.S. office in St. Petersburg, Florida.
According to the company announcement:
After 12 years of leadership in the Australian spearfishing and dive market, we are now opening our U.S. office to support local U.S. spearfishers and divers and to educate other water sports enthusiasts on alternatives to shark culling and powerheads. Shark Shieldhas been protecting people and providing peace of mind for nearly 20 years, supplied over 20,000 units and have hundreds of user testimonials.
Shark Shield’s technology is based on more than 20 years of scientific research by some of the world’s leading shark experts and is used by the Australian Navy, U.S. Navy & Coast Guard and professional abalone divers and spear fishers around the world. The company recently signed Tom Carroll, two-time World Surfing Champion, as its brand Ambassador in the surfing and stand-up paddle board markets.
The three Shark Shield devices, SURF7, SCUBA7 and FREEDOM7 create an electronic shark barrier by using salt water as the conductor to produce an electromagnetic field that disturbs the sharks’ (ampullary) receptors used to find food. There are no known long-term effects to the shark from the electrical field, but the discomfort is enough to discourage interaction with humans. The field is not detectable by other ocean creatures like the catch you are hunting. As a result, many professional divers and spearfishermen use Shark Shield as their most important piece of equipment.
Shark Shield is currently being sold in dive shops and spearfishing stores. Retail prices range between $599 and $699.
Anyone wanting Shark Shield to visit their dive or spear club to present the company’s technology, as well as the independent testing results including video, should contact Scott Wilson, U.S. sales manager, via email at scott.wilson@SharkShield.com or by phone at +1.727.301.8835.
By Ashley Jeffery, Reporter Last Updated: Sunday, July 27, 2014, 4:44 PM To keep sharks at bay in local waters, an Australian based company is working on a product, named Shark Shield, that cuts down on close encounters.
“[The sharks] might come in but just close enough to where you could see them, then go away and stay on the outer perimeter of us,” said Chad Campbell of Suncoast Dive Shop.
“You wear [Shark Shield] on your ankle and this antenna trails behind you in the water and inside the antenna we’ve got two electrodes,” said Shark Shield GM Amanda Wilson.
The electrodes create an underwater electric field. When a shark comes close to someone wearing the shark shield, the device causes spasms and keeps the sharks away.
“It doesn’t cause any long-term damage, it just causes the muscular contraction of their snout,” said Wilson. “As soon as they’re outside of the field, that spasm stops.”
Shark Shield comes in three variations, with prices starting at $599.
Shark Shield has been named by Choice, Australia’s leading independent consumer watchdog, as the only effective shark deterrent on the market. Following an extensive review of the shark deterrent options currently available, Shark Shield was the only deterrent shown to be independently tested and scientifically proven to turn sharks away.
According to Choice, “Shark Shield is the only electrical repellent on the market that’s been independently shown to be effective at deterring sharks from biting.” Choice author, Chris Doyle said the device worked by creating an electrical field along a 2m cord that trailed behind the wearer. Sharks have small gel-filled sacs in their snouts called ‘Ampullae of Lorenzini’, short-range sensors used for feeding, so Shark Shield’s unique three-dimensional electrical waveform causes spasms in these sensors and effectively turns sharks away.
Recent independent research funded by the Western Australian State Government, as part of its investment in Shark Hazard Mitigation, lead by Professor Shaun Collin, Director of the University of Western Australia Oceans Institute, has proven the efficacy of Shark Shield’s technology.
Collins stated, “During testing Shark Shield successfully turned sharks away in nine out of ten times. We hope this research will ultimately lead to the development of new shark deterrent technologies in the future.” A renowned expert in his field, Collins also authored Electroreception in Vertebrates and Invertebrates published in the Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, Oxford Academic Press 2010.
In 2012, Dr Charlie Huveneers from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and Flinders University and his team also tested the effectiveness of Shark Shield. Part of this independent scientific testing used a seal decoy off the coast of South Africa, with white sharks seen to visibly abort attack charges with no surface breach observed with the Shark Shield device turned on.
Huveneers was quoted in the Choice report explaining, “the effectiveness...
Sunday 7th February saw over 3,500 swimmers take to the water in The Sydney Morning Herald Cole Classic presented by Virgin Active. Little did they know that Shark Shield, the world’s only scientifically proven and independently tested electrical shark deterrent devices were protecting them throughout the race.
Twelve Shark Shield’s were attached one metre below on the large swim buoys that marked out the course, creating a loose electrical shield and providing a place of refuge in the unlikely event that a shark sighting occurred.
Lindsay Lyon, Shark Shield’s Managing Director said, “We were approached by the event organisers who were pro-actively seeking out proven technology to reduce risk for their contestants.”
“Traditionally, our products haven’t been used in organised ocean swims. However, in theory the devices would provide a loose electrical shield to turn sharks away had they ventured into the area, and most certainly a place of refuge for swimmers if required,” Lyon said.
Choice, Australia’s leading independent consumer watchdog, recently announced Shark Shield as the only effective shark deterrent on the market. Following an extensive review of the shark deterrent options currently available, Shark Shield was the only deterrent shown to be independently tested and scientifically proven to turn sharks away.
“The use of Shark Shield’s at this event is a good example of how our proven deterrent technology can be used as a preventative measure to reduce risk to the community. We remain open the opportunity to work with other water sport events and competitions,” added Lyon.
Fresh mown grass, birds chirping, and the continuous rhythm of footfalls in light music on the jogging track: the spring is here. Flowers are blooming, the spring wedding season is here, and chances are someone you know will be getting married soon. The cold is good and all. The snow is interesting. But in the end, cold weather tends to bind us to the home. Come spring, freedom awaits us once more.
You don’t even have to be an active person to enjoy the freshness that is brought by spring. The Spring break is either in progress or just round the corner and incidentally so is Easter. The Easter Eggs and the popular legendary anthropomorphic Easter Bunny all make for a jolly holiday. If children are a part of your life, then the Easter egg hunt is something to look forward to. After all, if the White House does it for children, then so can you.
So, now that we have rounded up on all the current goings on, let us move to our latest gift guide prepared specifically for the Spring of 2016. We have once again done the research for you and bring you the best.
FREEDOM7 Do you like to go for scuba diving, free diving, or spearfishing? Are you afraid that someday you will have a terrible encounter with a shark? This device here is made just to alleviate these fears. It will reduce the chances of an unwanted shark encounter. It uses close-range, low frequency electrical fields to keep the sharks away. This causes an irritation in the shark’s snout from which the shark will move away. It does not harm the shark in any way and you can enjoy your activities without the fear as well.
An independent peer reviewed research paper, published in the international science journal PLOS ONE has confirmed Shark Shield as an effective shark deterrent. The research was conducted over a two and half year period at a cost of $680,000, funded by the Western Australian State Government as part of its investment in Shark Hazard Mitigation, following a spate of shark attacks in 2012.
The research was led by Professor Shaun Collin, Assoc. Prof Nathan Hart, and Dr. Ryan Kempster of The University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute and the School of Animal Biology. The team also completed laboratory and field trials on other electrical shark deterrents in addition to exploring and testing novel ways to deter sharks including underwater sounds, bright flashing lights and bubbles.
Collin stated, “During testing, Shark Shield successfully turned white sharks away nine out of ten times. We hope this research will ultimately lead to the development of new electric-based shark deterrent technologies in the future.” A world-renowned expert in his field, Collin has authored many scientific papers in the field including ‘Electroreception in vertebrates and invertebrates’ published in the Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, Oxford Academic Press (2010).
Lindsay Lyon, Managing Director of Shark Shield stated, “This is the third independent scientific research paper proving Shark Shield to be the only device that effectively turns sharks away. This peer-reviewed paper shows adventure sport participates can remove up to 90% of the risk in activities like diving, spearfishing, kayaking and surfing. This removes all doubt about the efficacy of Shark Shield’s proven technology.”
The Company recently announced a $400K capital raising initiative to support the final manufacturing setup and inventory for its new FREEDOM+ Surf surfboard shark deterrent developed jointly with Ocean & Earth and 2 x World Surfing Champion Tom Carroll.
In 2012, Dr Charlie Huveneers from the South Australian Research...
Shark Shield, the world’s only scientifically proven and independently tested electrical shark deterrent technology, is challenging the status quo by posting the question ‘Can sharks be taught not to attack humans?’ at the upcoming International Surfing Symposium.
Held on Monday, 13th and Tuesday 14th March on the Gold Coast Australia, Shark Shield Managing Director Lindsay Lyon will pose the question as part of a panel discussion with some of the world’s leading shark experts.
“In psychology, classical conditioning is best known from the experiments by Ivan Pavlov where a stimulus was presented and then the dog was given food, after a few repetitions when the stimulus was presented the dog would salivate without food,” Lindsay says.
“CSRIO scientists have noted that tracked sharks often follow the same route annually stopping at the same beaches along the way, literally to the day. Could the longer-term use of proven electrical deterrents on surfboards over time generate a conditional response in sharks?
“If a shark’s electrical receptors spasm uncontrollably from the FREEDOM+ Surf electrical deterrent every time it swims by a surf break, will it stop swimming by that particular break. Can electrical deterrents be used to teach sharks to avoid humans?” Lyon hypothesizes.
In 2016 the UWA Ocean’s Institute released the third independent scientific research paper proving Shark Shield as the only device that effectively turns sharks away. This peer-reviewed paper showed adventure sport participants can significantly remove risk in activities like diving, spearfishing, kayaking and surfing. In reviewing the UWA research, The Australian Geographic magazine wrote “Great White Shark deterrent almost 100% effective.”
In 2012, Dr Charlie Huveneers from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and Flinders University tested the effectiveness of Shark Shield. Part of this independent scientific testing used a seal decoy off the coast of South Africa, with white sharks consistently aborting...