Shark Shield, the world’s only scientifically proven and independently tested electrical shark deterrent technology, is challenging the status quo by posting the question ‘Can sharks be taught not to attack humans?’ at the upcoming International Surfing Symposium.
Held on Monday, 13th and Tuesday 14th March on the Gold Coast Australia, Shark Shield Managing Director Lindsay Lyon will pose the question as part of a panel discussion with some of the world’s leading shark experts.
“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,” Lindsay says.
“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 on surfboards over time generate a conditional response in sharks?
“If a shark’s electrical receptors spasm uncontrollably from the FREEDOM+ Surf electrical deterrent every time it swims by a surf break, will it stop swimming by that particular break. Can electrical deterrents be used to teach sharks to avoid humans?” Lyon hypothesizes.
In 2016 the UWA Ocean’s Institute released the third independent scientific research paper proving Shark Shield as the only device that effectively turns sharks away. This peer-reviewed paper showed adventure sport participants can significantly remove risk in activities like diving, spearfishing, kayaking and surfing. In reviewing the UWA research, The Australian Geographic magazine wrote “Great White Shark deterrent almost 100% effective.”
In 2012, Dr Charlie Huveneers from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and Flinders University tested the effectiveness of Shark Shield. Part of this independent scientific testing used a seal decoy off the coast of South Africa, with white sharks consistently aborting shark attack charges on a seal decoy with the Shark Shield device turned on.
Dr Vic Peddemors, a renowned shark scientist who has been working with sharks since 1987, was also involved in statistical testing of Shark Shield’s effectiveness back in 2003 in South Africa on white sharks. During this testing it was shown that by using a Shark Shield the probability of an attack was reduced from 0.70 to 0.08 with no sharks taking the bait during testing.
Choice Magazine, an independent leading Australian Consumer Research organization, published their own review of shark deterrents in January 2016 confirming Shark Shield as the only deterrent with scientific evidence of its effectiveness.
“Shark Shield’s effectiveness is as proven as Pavlovian theory, the theory of teaching sharks has significant merit and it’s now a case of working with the scientific community and governments to test it, and in the process make a difference to improving local economies and tourism without sacrificing human or marine life,” added Lyon.