Over the past ten years, the popularity of diving has steeply declined, and industry members, like Shark Shield, are searching for a solution. In fact, the number of certified SDI, SSI, and PADI certified divers has dropped by nearly 30,000 people between 2000 and 2010. Many industry experts suggest that a large number of divers have opted to stay on land to avoid encounters.
However, the shark deterrent industry has boomed, and there are a variety of options for divers, spear fishers, kayakers, and other water adventurers to choose from. But with so many choices, consumers are faced with a tough decision that could impact the rest of their lives. To decide on a deterrent that really works, adventurers should carefully consider their options.
Patterned wetsuits are meant to confuse the animals, rather than repel them. Some are designed with patterns of venomous fish, which may send a warning signal. Since it mimics the appearance of a toxic animal, sharks may perceive a wearer as the animal itself and react with caution.
While some suits boast wildlife patterns, other deterrent wetsuits leverage a shark’s color blindness. These suits may hide water goers in plain sight by camouflaging them with “invisibility” patterns on the suit. These designs may help wearers blend in with the environment and elude sharks altogether.
Electronic deterrents use a shark’s anatomy to protect humans. Unlike other options, these devices do not try to camouflage a person who is in the water. Rather, powerful electronic deterrents like Shark Shield, for example, exploit, for , sd the animal’s highly sensitive “Ampullae of Lorenzini” to keep it at a safe distance.
All chondrichthyans, including sharks, have these electrical receptors. The ampullae are small gel-filled sacs, located in the animal’s snout, which sense electrical currents from prey. Research has proven that these are highly vulnerable, and will react strongly to electrical pulses. When exposed to an electronic deterrent like Shark Shield, the animals will experience spasms in the snout. While this does not cause damage, it does lead to incredibly uncomfortable sensations when the animals come within range of the deterrent.
A user is encompassed within a 3D elliptical field, and is essentially covered by an invisible, protective “bubble.” Wearers have repeatedly cited that when a shark approaches, it immediately turns and swims away after coming within range of the device. This unique deterrent allows divers, fishers, and other wearers to move around the water freely, as the device is very small and lightweight.
Magnetic Shark Repellents
These devices are similar to electronic deterrents. They leverage the sensitivity of the animal’s ampullae and cause it to turn and swim away. However, initial testing of some magnets showed that they only deter animals from one foot away. That means users have some protection only at incredibly close distances, and must place these magnets all around their bodies. This can become clumsy and heavy, may limit freedom, and could increase the proximity that a shark may approach, as compared to other deterrent options.
While myth and misconception surround these deterrents, science is shining light on one true leader. Shark Shield is pulling ahead as a powerful, reliable, and unique deterrent.
The company has devoted decades to research, and leverages studies conducted by the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI). This was an independent test of the company’s products, and revealed astounding results.
In 2012, SARDI conducted a study off the coast of South Africa. At the site, researchers used towed seal decoys. These mimicked a shark in full attack mode. When the device was not turned on, researchers observed 16 breaches and a shocking 27 surface interactions.
When the device was activated, researchers noted completely different behavior. The animals never breached, and there were a mere two instances of surface interactions. This independent study revealed the unrivaled effectiveness of electronic deterrent devices.
Shark Shield caters to a variety of water adventurers and provides superior peace of mind by leveraging the anatomy of the animal, and keeping it at a safe distance. In turn, spear fishers can keep their catch without fearing a predator will steal it or approach, divers can swim freely without feeling weighed down by devices, and all users can move with full confidence that they are protected in the ocean.
When searching for a worthy deterrent, fishers, kayakers, divers, and other water goers should search for a product that delivers complete peace of mind. Time and time again, Shark Shield has come out on top by using independent scientific research to turn a shark’s own anatomy into a protective device for humans, and offering complete and absolute freedom in the water.