The Ocean Guardian LR1000 Shark Barrier is powered by Shark Shield Technology, the world’s only 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.
The LR1000 is the most advanced shark barrier technology in the world. By combining the proven strength of Shark Shield Technology with known offshore marine heavy-duty cabling and anchoring systems, the LR1000 has been designed to withstand the harshest ocean conditions. Simplicity in design ensures our solution is strong and durable, with a low total cost of ownership to implement and maintain.
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.
Each installation will be tailored to the unique environment with a typical installation of hundreds of metres long and up to a maximum length of around 1000m (0.62mi) with 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 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.
For example, the New South Wales’ 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.
As mentioned, Shark Shield Technology is the world’s only scientifically proven and independently tested electrical shark deterrent technology. The proven performance of Shark Shield Technology is well documented in five peer reviewed published research studies, so the positive results during field tests of the LR1000 prototype were as expected.
The first field testing of a full-scale LR1000 prototype using proven Shark Shield Technology took place in Glencairn, South Africa over a 6-month test period during 2014 and 2015, with additional testing at Mossel Bay in 2016.
A total of over 50 white sharks were exposed to the LR1000 prototype and whilst all the data collected was biased by the presence of bait and chum, marked trends were observed and noted.
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. The prototype in this test environment was 100% effective in deterring sharks.
This field testing again proved that Shark Shield Technology is effective in keeping white sharks at bay even under extreme conditions such as baited and chummed waters.
The field testing also clearly demonstrated that the deployment of a full-scale LR1000 could be easily controlled and monitored remotely through the purpose build management software (also available on a mobile app), as well as serviced onsite using regular cost effective maintenance methods.
Based on the success of these field tests, Ocean Guardian has moved forward with commercialising the LR1000 for large-scale implementations around the world.