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Which Ocean Guardian (Shark Shield) should I use for fishing?Updated a year ago

Divers, Spear fishers, Kayakers and Surfers have long appreciated the protection Shark Shield Technology offers with the Western Australian government offering rebates to surfers and divers who purchase Ocean Guardian products. In reviewing the independent research, the Australian Geographic magazine wrote "Great White Shark deterrent almost 100% effective."

Sharks are opportunistic by nature and will naturally single out any food source that appears easy to exploit.  Nowhere is a shark's opportunistic behavior more apparent than when fishing. It's well known amongst both the commercial and recreational fishing communities that a struggling fish is irresistible to sharks. 

The Ocean Guardian FISH01 and its successor, FISH02, have been developed specifically for fishing and improving your catch rate, with research showing the use of Shark Shield Technology in fishing for Demersal Species resulted in:

  • Preventing the majority of shark's species from attacking hooked fish 
  • A significant reduction in the number of incidents of predation 
  • Improvements in the efficiency of operation 
  • Resulting in less time spent at sea

Fishing with the FISH01 & FISH02

Raising high quality fish species from the depths can be a demoralizing experience if sharks are in attendance. It's not unusual for an otherwise productive location to be deemed "unfishable" when anglers lose fish after fish to sharks. This becomes both frustrating and wasteful to a valuable resource. The Ocean Guardian FISH01 & FISH02 can be utilized in this situation to dramatically reduce collateral damage from Sharks. 

In depths of 20 meters or less the FISH01 or FISH02 is often positioned halfway between the surface and the bottom thereby creating a broad zone from the surface to the bottom. In waters greater than 20 meters deep, be prepared to experiment in terms of the depth of deployment. It can be impossible to predict where in the water column sharks are likely to strike your fish. Anglers experimenting with the FISH01 generally try to position the device as close to the sharks as possible. This could be right down near the bottom or right by the boat depending on the day. The FISH01 & FISH02 are pressure tested to 200 meters. 

There are two options with what to do with the antenna of the FISH01 or FISH02. It can be left to freely drift around in the current or it can be attached to the drop line, so it is positioned vertically in the water. Which option you choose might depend on such variables as current speed, drift speed and how many anglers are on board. If opting to attach the tail to the drop line, cable ties would probably be the best option. Simply snip them off when packing the gear away. 

There are some instances where it might be possible to attach a FISH01 or FISH02 directly to the main fishing line although this is not recommended as you may lose the device. During some initial trials with professional Snapper fishermen, it proved a successful strategy to attach the device directly above the top hook of the gear using a shark clip and tethering the tail vertically up the main line. This approach was possible due to the extremely heavy-duty nature of the gear used and the electric reels used for retrieval. Although recreational anglers would probably find this approach difficult to impossible, it might be a viable approach when fishing very deep water with electric reels. As this form of angling is increasing in popularity it is probably only a matter of time before someone gives it a try. 

Will the FISH01 or FISH02 scare away the fish I'm trying to catch? 

The FISH01 or FISH02 has no effect on the target fish species. Shark Shield Technology has been developed to specifically take advantage of the highly sensitive electrical receptors called the "Ampullae of Lorenzini" present in a shark's snout. As fish are without these receptors Shark Shield Technology has negligible effect on them. Divers and Spear fishers also observe that fish are unaffected by their Ocean Guardian devices. 

Sharks and Classical Condition? 

How many times have you heard a fisherman tell you that its as if the sharks know the sound of which boats are fishing and which boats are not? How are the sharks attracted to your boat even before you've thrown a line in? 

In psychology, classical conditioning is best known from the experiments by Ivan Pavlov where a stimulus was presented and then the dog was given food, after a few repetitions when the stimulus was presented the dog would salivate without food. CSRIO scientists have noted that tracked sharks often follow the same route annually stopping at the same beaches along the way, literally to the day. 

Could the longer-term use of proven electrical deterrents such as the Ocean Guardian FISH01 & FISH02 and BOAT01 & BOAT02 on vessels over time generate a conditional response in sharks? If a shark's electrical receptors spasm uncontrollably from the electrical deterrent every time it swims by a vessel, will it stop swimming by boats? Can electrical deterrents be used to teach sharks to avoid humans? 

Shark Shield Technologies effectiveness is as proven as Pavlovian theory, the theory of teaching sharks to avoid vessels has significant merit.

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