Would You Install A $500 Shark Deterrent System On Your Board?
“It felt like we were creating a field of energy that was protecting the lineup” – Kale Brock
Per their website, “Ocean Guardian is the world’s leading shark deterrent technology company and since 2001 the company’s patented Shark Shield Technology has protected tens of thousands of ocean lovers.”
Ocean Guardian uses electrodes patches stuck under your board that produce a powerful three-dimensional electrical field. Sharks have short-range electrical receptors in their snouts called the “Ampullae of Lorenzini” used for finding food. The electromagnetic pulses are thought to deter sharks by causing these receptors to spasm.
In Western Australia, a notoriously sharky zone where many of its most sought after waves are in remote locations, the government is offering a $200 rebate on Ocean Guardian products. There have been 27 attacks in the past year in Australia, with 7 of them being fatal.
While state governments are rolling out shark mitigation programmes with teeth, such as the deployment of more SMART drumlines, drum lines, and drone surveillance cameras, their effectiveness and whether they do more harm than good has been questioned. The shark culling programs in WA that ran between December 2014 to March 2017 were a failure that caused undesirable collateral damage to marine life that was not deemed a threat to humans.
For folk wanting to feel safe and secure, be that at a busy beach like Freemantle or in remote locations where no shark mitigation is present, ‘wearable’ shark deterrent devices may be the unlock. The other upside is that they do not cause any long-term or severe harm to sharks.
The downside is the investment, dork stigma, recharging batteries and added weight. But is peace of mind worth the spend?
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