Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Shark deterrent results

Shark deterrent results

Well about two and a half years ago we were awarded two grants to work on shark deterrence using our basic knowledge of the sensory abilities of sharks and their relatives to develop novel deterrence and to test existing devices that are
currently on the market that the public can be using to deter and change shark behavior. So we’re
looking to see whether we can look outside square and discover new
things which sharks might be frightened of. First of these strobe lights bright flashing lights
it was found that they were quite effective in the lab when we took this
into the field white sharks certainly weren’t frightened of the bright flashing lights. And so this isn’t an effective
strategy to deter certainly large predatory sharks during
the day. Second thing we tested was loud underwater sounds now there is
some evidence that very loud sounds are repellent to sharks as well as bony fishes and white sharks are thought to if not be frightened but wary of killer
whales but we saw no effect of the killer while scream and in fact artificial sounds which took the essence of that Killer Whale scream weren’t seen to be repellent. so third thing we tested with the burst
bubbles let off very quickly when a shark approached would scare them away, and in fact we found this to be quite effective at scaring off white sharks and so it’s early days we think this could be a strategy for a personal deterrent and certainly something people could do in an emergency if they were diving to let out burst the bubbles from scuba gear in the face of an approaching shark if they had time to do so. all of this the research and all the valuable insights we’ve gained wouldn’t be possible without financial
support of the West Australian state government through the applied research program for their shark hazard mitigation project and also The University of Western Australia. One of the grants was to concentrate on testing and possibly
improving on existing the devices that were
currently on the market we were able to test the shark shield and found for about eight species of different reef sharks that it was effective all the tests were very positive not
only for Tiger sharks and other reef sharks off
WA but also on white sharks off South Africa.
It was important for UWA and our research team to step in and provide our expertise in developing and testing these devices to protect the public from somewhat of a menace which has changed people’s behavior in in entering the beautiful waters of the WA coastline.

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