Do Shark Deterrents Work?

posted: 06/18/15
by: SharkWeek.com Staff
Great white shark

There are a variety of measures employed to minimize interactions between humans and sharks: lifeguards are now using drones to confirm shark sightings and keep swimmers out of harm's way, and some organizations are attempting to use sonar technology as a method to detect sharks.

Researchers at the University of Western Australia recently looked into a variety of different shark deterrent products to evaluate their effectiveness at preventing negative encounters between sharks and humans. Although peer review of the research is still pending, the team released a few key takeaways from their investigation:

  • Out of all methods surveyed, the Shark Shield was the most effective. When sharks come into contact with the electronic field emitted by the Shield, they experience temporary, uncomfortable muscle spasms. Shark Shield maintains that the spasms do not harm the animals, and deter them from a closer approach.
  • Strobing lights can be effective at repelling nocturnal and bottom-dwelling sharks that are acclimated to relative darkness.
  • Bubble curtains temporarily confused sharks, but the animals didn't hesitate to cross the barrier once they became used to the bubble array.
  • Loud sounds played underwater were ineffective.

"We hope this will ultimately lead to the development of new shark deterrent technologies in the future," said Shaun Collin, director of the University of Western Australia Oceans Institute.

Click here to learn more from the University of Western Australia

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