Shark Shield effectiveness

evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
edited June 2012 in General Discussion
Food (or should I say chum?) for thought...

“The combined results of the study indicate that while the risk of an attack may be reduced wearing a shark shield, the shields failed to repel great whites in all cases.”


  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    edited June 2012
    I'm curious about how the SS might affect the behavior of other species. My recollection is that oceanic white tips were not repelled on a high profile swim that employed the device.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • ForeverSwimForeverSwim Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaCharter Member
    There’s good news and bad news for ocean swimmers who’ve forked out several thousand rand for an Australian-made personal protective device to ward off sharks – it works… but only some of the time.

    Key word, ALL situations... 100% is never a given variable with most things in life. I do not believe there is one swimmer in the world who thinks these devices would deter 100% of a set of possible attacks. Why test on seal decoys in South Africa? The Great Whites are becoming more and more conditioned, though increased physical presense due to cage diving expeditions, as well as increased decoy usage, to attack in this part of the world. Perhaps a more feasible device would be a human dummy which is "swimming" through the water, and not the direct favorite food of a Great White - seals.

    As an owner of a Shark Shield, I personally do not feel that this device will deter ALL shark attacks that might happen while swimming, BUT it could deter (as stated in the article) the chance of an attack - and that amount of attack probability is already quite low. With that being said, we ended up forgetting to turn it on during my Catalina swim, and in Molokai, it is almost impossible to stay within the small radius of the device when getting pummeled by rough conditions. I was far from the kayak which had the device turned on (the radius I believe is 5m). I take full responsibility to stay near my kayaker if I was concerned about being in the "shield" of protection. As my boat captain in Catalina told me, "we don't have boy eaters, just man eaters out there".

    The controversy continues...
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania U.S.A.

  • HaydnHaydn Member
    I have never seen a shark whilst wearing mine. But came within 6 inches of a Oceanic White Tip when I wasn't wearing it.

    When swimming ashore in Sea of Cortez I disturbed a buried stingray when I swam over it.
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    Haydn wrote:
    I have never seen a shark whilst wearing mine. But came within 6 inches of a Oceanic White Tip when I wasn't wearing it.

    When swimming ashore in Sea of Cortez I disturbed a buried stingray when I swam over it.

    How deep was the water. In Pensacola last month, I disturbed a lot of stingrays in ~3-5 ft water, and I wasn't wearing a shark shield. I know that they are related, but if the water was shallow, the disturbance may or may not have been attributable to your shark shield.

  • HaydnHaydn Member
    Possibly. I guess about 10 feet.
  • WazWaz Member
    Research was also conducted off South Australia into their effectiveness.
    This report provides further information on the results they got

    From these findings it appears the bottom line is that these devices briefly delay an interaction rather then deter or reduce the chance of one occuring.

  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member

    Just thought I would give this conversation a bump to seek current opinions.

    As you may have seen, there were two of shark attacks in North Carolina (USA) this week, both resulting in the loss of limbs. (And, oh, I am doing two weeks of training in North Carolina later this summer…)

  • EricEric Member

    One thing is clear: People really want to believe they work.

  • HollyTHollyT Member

    Eric, you have contributed the most valid commentary! AS a resident of FL...I've been following the well as looking at the current options in the ocean..

  • mysterybobmysterybob North Hampton, NHMember

    A question for the group. Maybe I watched too much Wicked Tuna on TV, but does anyone have any experience with a boats fish finder's capability to 'mark' large fish during a swim?

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