We see a lot of devices advertised that claim to repel sharks. The question is, do they work?
A lot of these devices use either electricity or magnets that are supposed to repel sharks, others claim that a certain color pattern will prevent a shark from biting the wearer.
I have always been skeptical of these devices, since I have seen sharks been simultaneously attracted to and repelled by the same object. Some of the makers of these devices use videos that show sharks jerk away from their gadgets in their advertising. (just search for shark repellent on youtube) In my experience, anything that causes a reaction by a shark, even one that shows it jerking away and taking off, is also peaking its curiosity, which could mean that these devices may actually increase your chances of getting bit.
I have seen 3 white sharks swim in to investigate a beach towel that got blown overboard. All of them jerked away and took off. While 2 took off for good, one came back, jerked away again, but kept coming back. I don't know weather it eventually bit the towel or not, because I lost sight of them, as they descended too deep to see. It definitely did show though, that even if something causes a shark to take off, it can also peak its curiosity and bring it back to investigate.
Now we have proof that at least one of these devices definitely does not work. The Daily Mail reports that a surfer in Florida got bit while wearing the "sharkbanz"
The article states that:
"A teenager has been bitten by a shark while wearing the new shark-repelling band he got for Christmas for the first time. Zack Davis suffered a huge bite to his arm while surfing near Avalon Beach State Park on North Hutchinson Island in Florida. The teen was wearing a new band with magnetic technology that claims to repel sharks away from swimmers." Read the entire article hereOf course I'm not the first to say that these devices don't work. DaShark has called it back in January, when he wrote "Sharkbanz - total scam" You can read his what he said here
Don't get suckered in and buy these products. At best, they simply don't work and at worst may actually increase your chances of a shark encounter.
About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.