Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
August 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 41, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

Latest Shark Research: Shields Are Effective, Bubble Curtains Arenít

from the August, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Shark Shield devices may be the best way to effectively deter sharks. That's what research funded by the Australian government has found. Colin Barnett, the premier of Western Australia (famous for announcing a plan in 2013, after a series of shark attacks killed seven people between 2010 and 2013, to shoot great whites if they come within one kilometer of the coast), last month unveiled early data from three research projects carried out by University of Western Australia. Research teams led lab and field trials on electrical shark deterrents currently on the market, like the Shark Shield and electronic anklets, and potential deterrents such as loud underwater sounds, bright flashing lights and bubbles. So far, they've found that:

* The Shark Shield electronic repellent does not attract sharks to the general area, and it deterred sharks in nine out of 10 cases. It has a significant effect in deterring a range of shark species, including tiger sharks and white sharks, though further testing is required to be "statistically confident" about that.

* Bright, flashing strobe lights can be effective deterrents and deter a range of species from biting, but mainly nocturnal ones.

* Loud underwater sounds, both artificial and those mimicking orca calls, were ineffective at deterring sharks in the laboratory, and were only a limited deterrent in open waters.

* Some bubble curtain methods (think a long pipe running along the bottom of the ocean putting out a field of bubbles) were effective, but only for a short time, after which sharks became accustomed to the bubbles and didn't hesitate to cross the barrier.

* Electric anklet shark-repellent devices don't have a significant effect in deterring any shark species tested.

The conclusions remain preliminary because the data is undergoing peer review. And while sport divers don't show much interest in using shark deterrents, they're important to commercial divers, surfers and swimmers in Australian waters.

I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2023 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.