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White Paper - Shark Shield

  • 2 min read


Between 1982 and 2011 unprovoked shark bites were recorded from 56 countries with 27 recording fatalities; however 84.5% occurred in only six countries - United States, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Bahamas and Reunion Island. While shark attacks directed at humans are, and will continue to be extremely rare, the frequency is increasing, principally along with increasing numbers of humans participating in ocean sports, but also influenced by other factors. Fear of such attacks, partially fuelled by films such as Jaws is psychologically powerful.

Ocean users (casual recreational visitors, scuba divers, surfers, kayak fishermen, etc.) at risk of shark attacks, often cite the possibility of such encounters as a major concern (Eilperin, 2013). Evidence, both anecdotal and survey-based, shows this fear can keep many potential ocean users away from the water .That same fear may also be contributing to a slow decline in the scuba diving industry, as seen over recent years.

No method of mitigating the risk of an unprovoked shark bite is 100% successful in all circumstances, and this is the case for methods of risks to human safety in all contexts, whether it be seat belts and airbags in cars, or the emergency brace position on planes. The traditional method of reducing the risk of unprovoked shark bite has been through culling, using shark nets and/or drum lines. These practices are unlikely to remain to be acceptable due to their environmental impacts on species of conservation interest. There are alternatives which reduce the risk of unprovoked shark bite for bathers which include enclosure nets and shark spotter programs, but such approaches are impractical for surfers, divers, spearfishers,snorkelers, and kite surfers. The most environmentally friendly, non- lethal method for preventing unprovoked shark bite on any water user, that leaves other marine life unaffected, is low power, electronic shark deterrents. This method utilises the shark’s highly sensitive electroreception organs, by creating pulses of low-power electrical current, which are extremely uncomfortable for approaching sharks, without affecting humans wearing such devices, or any other marine animals.

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.

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