Recreational, charter and commercial fishers in Western Australia (WA) are reporting significant increases in shark depredation (bite-offs), particularly in the Gascoyne and Pilbara regions.
Recent research by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s (DPIRD) has found that the probability of sharks taking fish is reduced by 65 per cent when using deterrents such as the FISH01.
Despite the low chance of a person being bitten by a shark, there are serious associated costs. Electronic deterrents are currently the only types of personal deterrent with empirical evidence of a substantial reduction in the probability of being bitten by a shark. We aimed to predict the number of people who could potentially avoid being bitten by sharks in Australia if they wear personal electronic deterrents.
Here, researchers assessed the ability of the Ocean Guardian SCUBA7 and Kevlar material to reduce the likelihood of blacktip reef sharks, Carcharhinus melanopterus, from feeding, and to minimise injuries from shark bites.
This research by Collins proves that Shark Shield’s electrical impulses do not attract sharks: “It is true that the electroreceptive system is extremely sensitive (in the µV range). However, in practical terms and this has been born out in many behavioral tests, the electroreceptive system is a relatively short distance sense often working in the 30-60cm range.
This prospectus explains how electronic shark deterrents function, and why it is a safe, practical, and most importantly an effective method of repelling sharks at distances of 2 metres and greater, thus reducing the risk of unprovoked shark bite. These products are backed by multiple scientific studies and over a decade of field-testing with multiple shark species.
In two series of tests of a new electric shark repellent (the SharkPOD), data was collected on the time needed to attack the bait, under power-off and power-on (active) conditions. ... Conclusions were separately drawn after completion of the first experiment (in which there were 8 successful attacks in 98 five minute active periods), and after completion of the second experiment (in which no successful attacks were reconied in 24 ten minute active periods).
The present study tested the effects of the Shark Shield Freedom7TM electric deterrent on (1) the behaviour of 18 white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) near a static bait, and (2) the rates of attacks on a towed seal decoy.
The number of shark-human interactions and shark bites per capita has been increasing since the 1980s, leading to a rise in measures being developed to mitigate the risk of shark bites. Yet, many of the products commercially available for personal protection have not been scientifically tested, potentially providing an exaggerated sense of security to members of the public using them.
The study analyzed 322 encounters involving 41 individual white sharks, ranging from 2m to 4m long. Upon first encounter with a Shark Shield, all approaching great white sharks were effectively deterred, staying an average of 1.3m away from a baited canister with the device attached.