Shark Deterrent devices are cause for much contention and one we here at Wetsuit Warehouse have laboured over for many years. The issue we have is that you should not be scared of...
Shark Deterrent devices are cause for much contention and one we here at Wetsuit Warehouse have laboured over for many years. The issue we have is that you should not be scared of sharks, you're a bajoillion times more likely to die by fast food, or choking on fast food, or becoming an employee of a fast food chain only to die in a work-place accident, one could even suggest that it's more likely for all of things to occur before you have even seen a shark.
In saying that, our priority as a business is to ensure our customers get the best experience and we want to provide only products that promote this ideal. Lets face it, many of us are scared of sharks (thanks Jaws), and fear is irrational - we know we have essentially zero chance of being attacked by a shark but we still all fear it, and report on it in the news, and make stupid movies like Sharknado.
This thinking is what lead us into exploring the potential of selling shark deterrent devices and in today's market there is a plethora of gimmicks but we've done our darnedest to bring you only the best from visual and magnetic shark deterrents, we have not dabble in chemical deterrents as surfactants are bad for ecology.
Do sharks want to attack humans?
Short Answer: no, Long Answer: absolutely definitely not. Why? Sharks can lose a substantial number of teeth in an attack which can render them unable to hunt until their teeth have grown back. The problem arises when a shark looses it's teeth due to territorial-aggression or self-defence as it is now unable to hunt for sustenance, this is why sharks very rarely attack each other but opt for visual defence mechanisms, like looking big and scary (that's not a joke).
American research from the 80's has led us to believe that a Great White Shark (GWS) could be sustained for 6 weeks from 30kgs of mammal blubber but contemporary Australia research have found that this will sustain a GWS for 12-15 days. Mammal blubber is a type of adipose tissue (fat) that's basically a super-charged version of human fat. Sharks sense fat content through their teeth which is why there are countless videos of sharks teething on an outboard prop - outboard props emit electromagnetic radiation so the shark is simply trying to ascertain fat content, which is why humans are generally subject to a single bite: the shark realises we're not worth the teeth-loss.
How do sharks attack?
Sharks can spend many minutes assessing the potential of a possible target and rely on multiple senses to do so, which includes sight, electro-reception, pressure changes and olfactory (smell and taste). A shark will circle at a distance, sizing you up visually whilst defining physiology through pressure and if they're still intrigued they will make closer passes in order to smell and taste you, and if they're still intrigued they'll make closer passes to make use of the Ampulae of Lorenzini. It is in this last phase that magentic shark deterrents prove to be most effective in deterrence.More often then not, you will have zero idea this is occurring underneath you and in shark-world this is your opportunity to present your defence case, which is why surface-water sports people are much more likely to be attacked than divers, also divers prefer good visibility, surfers/swimmers etc are generally in sandy, foamy water close to shore, or in rivers.
Magnetic Shark Deterrents
Magnetic, and electromagnetic, shark deterrence devices play on the fact that sharks have receptors that allow them to navigate via the earth's magnetic field as well as locate bio-electric signatures given from living prey. Magnetic shark deterrent devices are typically considered the most effective, these include Shark Shields and Sharkbanz however Shark Shields use electromagnetic radiation as opposed to an electropositive metal or permanent magnet. They do this through what's called the Ampulae of Lorenzini, which are special sensing organs around the nose of invertebrate fish (Elasmobranch). The idea is these devices cause sensory-overload within the ampulae, forcing the shark to reroute due to pain or a sense of being overwhelmed. The highly charged, battery powered Shark Shield device emits a pulsing electromagnetic field that easily overpowers the level of elecotrmagnetic induction occurring in the ampulae. Being that Sharkbanz use
If these shark deterrents work then why no guarantees?
There are never any guarantees when it comes to shark deterrents and the reason is simple: Great White Shark ambush predation. Great Whites are essentially the only shark to exhibit ambush predation which means they may charge from over 100m without ever even seeing their target (perhaps because they're the Apex). Big mumma Great Whites can reach weights of 1 tonne + and can swim upwards of 60km/h.... I'd love to know anything that could stop that? A few sea-mines?! A concrete wall, maybe?? On the other hand, you have every species of shark that isn't the GWS and they rarely attack in any sort of predatory fashion and more more aligned to scavengers than they are hunters. We just need to look at the most effective animal in deterring shark attacks: the humble little fur seal. They use 3 main techniques: swim in big groups, swim underwater whenever possible and don't run away from the shark but try to pull in behind the dorsal fin.. Yes, none of these are human possible so lets just stick with shark deterrents.
Want to reduce your chance of shark attack by 50% GUARANTEED?! Swim with a mate.... 66%? 2 mates!