The Ocean Guardian LR1000 Shark Barrier is powered by Shark Shield Technology, the world’s most scientifically proven electrical shark deterrent technology, supported by peer reviewed published research, and successful in deterring Great Whites, Tiger, Bull, and other predatory sharks. The technology is so effective that the government of Western Australia has approved Ocean Guardian personal devices for consumer rebates. Nothing is more effective.
A modern and scientifically proven shark mitigation method with no impact on marine life, the LR1000 can be used to create a shark free zone at private resort beaches, council beaches and even designated diving and snorkelling locations in coral reef systems such as the Great Barrier Reef. The long-term goal of the LR1000 is to replace harmful shark nets and drumlines.
The LR1000 has also been designed for use in aquaculture to reduce the incidences of shark and seal predation, which have negative impacts on fish health and welfare, and often result in significant economic losses for the farm.
By combining the proven effectiveness of Shark Shield Technology with deep expertise in offshore marine infrastructure and heavy-duty cabling and anchoring systems, the LR1000 has been designed to withstand the harshest ocean conditions. The simplicity in design ensures our solution is strong and durable, with a low total cost of ownership to implement and maintain.
Unlike exclusion barrier designs, the LR1000 can be easily removed if required using a two-person crew in a rib in less than two hours. When a damaging storm event is identified, the LR1000 can be unconnected from the anchor points and removed, with the same process used to put the system back in place after the storm passes. This is a critically important design feature, considering some heavy sea state locations and weather events such as hurricanes and cyclones.
Another key feature of the LR1000 is that it does not present the mass that exclusion barriers present to ocean swells and seaweed. This excessive weight and drag from large ocean swells has historically damaged other exclusion barriers. The LR1000 design has drop antennas that are not tethered to seabed and as a result the seaweed is not being trapped, and the LR1000 buoys floating on the top of the ocean present less drag for the swells and waves. Using super strong Dyneema® fibre, which is 15x stronger than steel, the system is capable of handling swells up to five metres.
Most critically, the LR1000 system is remotely network monitored so you know in real-time that the system is operating correctly and in place. Even in the worst-case scenarios you’ll know the exact state of the system which can be reported and monitored real time, the same as a computer networking monitoring alert system. Unlike older exclusion systems, with the LR1000 you know 100% of time that the system is on and working as designed.
Each installation will be tailored to the unique environment with a typical installation of up to four hundred of metres long, with multiples of this length achievable and a maximum depth of 12m (39’).
Sharks have short-range electrical receptors in their snouts called the “Ampullae of Lorenzini” used for finding food.
Ocean Guardian’s Shark Shield Technology has been developed to specifically take advantage of these highly sensitive receptors, creating a powerful three-dimensional electrical field which cause spasms turning the sharks away, including Great Whites. As dolphins, whales, fish, turtles, etc. are without these receptors, Shark Shield Technology has negligible effect on them.
Shark Shield Technology consists of a minimum of two electrodes, which when both are submerged in sea water, emit a three-dimensional electrical field surrounding the user or area. When a shark comes within a few metres, the field (emitted by the device) causes the shark to experience muscle spasms. This does NOT harm the shark in any way, merely producing a high level of discomfort.
With the LR1000, buoys containing power modules will be spaced approximately 3m – 4m (10’-13’) apart along a length of cable that sits either on the ocean surface or the ocean floor, depending on the customers’ requirements and location. The all-important antenna electrodes hang off each buoy to create the shark barrier curtain. Because the antenna electrodes are free floating there is little physical resistance to heavy sea states, tides, and winds.
Ocean Guardian products mitigate impacts to threatened and migratory species, as well as impacts on Australia’s coasts, oceans, and waterways, by reducing the reliance on lethal shark control programs to reduce the risk of shark-human interactions.
The LR1000 takes this a step further by offering an environmentally sound replacement for shark nets and drumlines, and unlike exclusion barriers or other alternatives, the LR1000 does not require concrete infrastructure damaging sensitive coastal and ocean environments. If removed the LR1000 leaves no footprint.
The New South Wales Government Shark Meshing (Bather Protection) Program and Queensland’s Shark Control Program operate along the length of Australia’s east coast and consist of shark nets and drumlines. Both programs are designed to cull sharks, they also catch and kill a significant number of non-target marine animals every year including whales, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and rays. Many of these animals are threatened and migratory species, protected under federal legislation.
In the 2018-19 meshing season alone (1 September 2018 – 30 April 2019), shark nets in NSW caught 395 animals, 55 of those being Australian threatened or protected species, with a further 125 that are listed on international threatened species lists. Queensland’s Shark Control Program catches threatened and migratory species at a similar rate, including five humpback whales entangled in shark nets in 2019.
Not only are these nets and drumlines a significant threat to the health of the animals caught, but the volume of wildlife destroyed by these lethal programs has a significant impact on the health, sustainability and function of Australia’s coasts, oceans and waterways. Each of these species play a vital role in our ocean ecosystems that Australians rely on for sustenance, income, and recreation.
The Ocean Guardian LR1000 enables all other animals such as fish, whales, dolphins, etc. to pass through the curtain; only sharks and rays are affected by the electrical field generated.
Shark Shield Technology is the world’s most scientifically proven and independently tested electrical shark deterrent technology, with the proven performance of Shark Shield Technology documented in no less than five peer reviewed published research studies. This meant that the positive efficacy results during field trials of the LR1000 were as expected.
The commercial development of the Ocean Guardian LR1000 has been a six-year project starting in December 2012. The development was led by The Institute of Maritime Technology (IMT), a division of Armscor, who are the acquisition agency for the South African Department of Defence. IMT is a multi-disciplinary ISO 9001 2015 division specialising in Techno-military research and development, as well as specialised products and services. Experts in offshore systems and with world class capabilities focused in the technology area of Maritime Electro-Magnetics, IMT were perfectly positioned to help develop the Ocean Guardian LR1000.
During 2013, the successful concept demonstration was completed, producing simulation, modelling, and testing. In parallel, exhaustive independent medical testing and product validation testing for susceptibility for sharks and human safety were also successfully completed. The first 100-metre (328 ft) ocean trial was conducted in Glen Cairn South Africa during 2014-15, with another 40-metre (131 ft) ocean trial successfully completed during 2016-17. The fifth-generation system was completed in 2018-19 and in 2020, Ocean Guardian and IMT moved to commercial production of the LR1000 Shark Barrier.
In field testing, a total of over 50 white sharks were exposed to the LR1000 prototypes and whilst all the data collected was biased by the presence of bait and chum, marked trends were observed. When the system was switched on, white sharks in the area moved off to a safe distance from the system and remained out of view until the system was switched off, whereupon the white sharks returned and freely engaged with the bait and floating system. As the system tested was reduced in overall size (length), white sharks moved closer to the system when bait was presented to the sharks, however, no sharks were able to penetrate the prototype. In this test environment the LR1000 was 100% effective in deterring sharks and aligned with previous independent research on Shark Shield Technology.
The first commercial installation on the Ocean Guardian LR1000 is a 365-metre (1197 ft) system scheduled for 2022 at a private resort in the Bahamas.