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How Close is too Close? The Effect of a Non-Lethal Electric Shark Deterrent on White Shark Behaviour.Updated 10 months ago

Ryan M. Kempster, Channing A. Egeberg, Nathan S. Hart, Laura Ryan, Lucille Chapuis Caroline C. Kerr, Carl Schmidt, Charlie Huveneers, Enrico Gennari, Karak E. Yopak, Jessica J. Meeuwig, Shaun P. Collin. University of Western Australia Ocean Institute. 

The study analyzed 322 encounters involving 41 individual white sharks, ranging from 2m to 4m long. Upon first encounter with a Shark Shield, all approaching great white sharks were effectively deterred, staying an average of 1.3m away from a baited canister with the device attached. 

After multiple approaches, individual great white sharks came an average of 12cm closer on each successive approach. Only one great white shark came into contact with the bait in the presence of an active Shark Shield, and only after multiple approaches. The interaction in question simply involved a bump of the bait canister rather than a full bite. In contrast, bites were common during control trials. 

For detailed information on this peer reviewed research, the research paper can be downloaded from PLOS ONE here

Key points:

  1. Shark Shield effectively deterred sharks from interacting with the bait 
  2. Shark Shield does not attract sharks
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