In what is claimed to be a world-first, scientists from the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries and James Cook University have shown magnets can repel sharks.
It is hoped the magnets will keep sharks out of fishing nets set for barramundi.
Trials have been conducted in controlled conditions in Cairns. The research team will soon conduct field trials to determine the practical use of magnets in the gillnet fishery.
The researchers do not believe the magnetic repulsion will prevent shark attacks on people.