How does the Shark Shield effectively deter sharks?
Modified on: Mon, 7 Nov, 2016 at 12:44 AM
All sharks have highly sensitive electrical receptors called the “Ampullae of Lorenzini” located in their snouts. These tiny gel filled sacs can only sense electrical fields from prey at very close distances, typically less than one meter. The powerful localised electrical field generated by Shark Shield devices cause the sharks gel filled sacs to spasm and turns sharks away from the immediate area.
There are no known long-term adverse effects to the shark and as a result Shark Shield devices support the conservation of sharks by removing the need for culling or other lethal means of managing human and shark interactions. Shark Shield devices do not affect other ocean creatures.
As sharks can only sense electrical fields at very short distances and electrical fields are dispersed rapidly in water, the myth that sharks can sense electrical fields at great distances is not true; as a result electrical shark deterrents do not attract sharks, you can read more in this myth here.
For more details on Shark Shield Effectiveness and Scientific Research Testing please see the website here
Research Example 1: One 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. After multiple approaches, individual great white sharks came an average of 12cm closer on each successive approach. Only one great white shark came into contact with the bait in the presence of an active Shark Shield, and only after multiple approaches. The interaction in question simply involved a bump of the bait canister rather than a full bite. In contrast, bites were common during control trials.
Research Example 2: Using a seal decoy to attract white sharks in South Africa, the scientist placed a Shark Shield protecting the seal decoy and conducted approximately 189 tows, half with the unit turned on and half turned off. With the Shark Shield turned OFF, they experienced 16 breaches and 27 surface interactions. With the Shark Shield turned ON they experienced zero breaches and only two surface interactions. This test showed Shark Shield effectively deterred a white shark at speed in attack mode.
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