How does the Ocean Guardian (Shark Shield) effectively deter sharks?Updated 8 months ago
All sharks have highly sensitive electrical receptors called the 'Ampullae of Lorenzini' located in their snouts. These tiny gel filled sacs can only sense electrical fields from prey at very close distances, typically less than one meter. The powerful localized electrical field generated by Ocean Guardian devices causes the sharks gel filled sacs to spasm and turns sharks away from the immediate area.
There are no known long-term adverse effects on the shark and as a result, Ocean Guardian devices support the conservation of sharks by removing the need for culling or other lethal means of managing human and shark interactions. Ocean Guardian devices do not affect other ocean creatures.
As sharks can only sense electrical fields at very short distances and electrical fields are dispersed rapidly in water, the myth that sharks can sense electrical fields at great distances is not true; as a result, electrical shark deterrents do not attract sharks, you can read more in this myth here.
For more details on Shark Shield Effectiveness and Scientific Research Testing please see the website here.
Research Example 1: One study analyzed 322 encounters involving 41 individual white sharks, ranging from 2m to 4m long. Upon the first encounter with an Ocean Guardian device, 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 Ocean Guardian, 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.
Research Example 2: Using a seal decoy to attract white sharks in South Africa, the scientist placed a Shark Shield protecting the seal decoy and conducted approximately 189 tows, half with the unit turned on and half turned off. With the Ocean Guardian turned OFF, they experienced 16 breaches and 27 surface interactions. With the Ocean Guardian turned ON they experienced zero breaches and only two surface interactions. This test showed Ocean Guardian effectively deterred a white shark at speed in attack mode.