It’s the 27th year of Discovery Channel’s (DISCA) Shark Week, and while it has scored some record ratings, it might have viewers treading water in fear. One company, perhaps, can relieve some of that terror — Shark Shield, which makes a device that claims to deter sharks from attacking people.
Amanda Wilson, general manager of the company, tells Yahoo Finance in the accompanying video, “We know shark attacks are rare, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t terrifying for people. Unfortunately, [the movie] Jaws has had a tremendous effect on our mentalities when we go in the water. This gives you the peace of mind to enjoy your water sport.”
And there are sharks in the water, even if they don’t attack. Just this week The Seattle Times reported the sighting of a 25-foot shark in Puget Sound.
So, how could someone fishing or swimming in Puget Sound or anywhere use the Shark Shield to protect themselves?
The Shark Shield deterrent fits on the ankle of a swimmer or diver or can be hung off the back of a boat. Inside the device are electrodes, which when submerged in seawater create a 3-D electric field that affects the shark’s receptors in their snouts, causing spasms. The result: sharks stay 15 to 20 feet away from swimmers or divers, or fish hung on fishermen’s lines, claims Shark Shield.
How does Shark Shield know its product works? Wilson says the company has spent millions on testing and has the only scientifically tested and proven product on the market.
The devices retail for between $599 and $699. And while the Australian-based company says it’s business in the U.S. is still very small, averaging about 20 devices sold a week, it says sales have tripled so far during Shark Week this year.