Aus firm launches 'anti-shark' wetsuits

2013-07-18 11:01
(Picture: <a href=\http://www.shutterstock.com\>Shutterstock</a>)

(Picture: Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Sydney, New South Wales – An Australian research firm on Thursday launched what is being touted as the world's first anti-shark wetsuit, using new discoveries about the predators' eyesight to stave off or evade an attack.

Working in conjunction with the University of Western Australia's (UWA) Oceans Institute, entrepreneurs Hamish Jolly and Craig Anderson have developed two lines of wetsuit designed to protect divers and surfers from sharks.

"It's based on new breakthrough science which is all about visionary systems for predatory sharks," Anderson told AFP.

"We've been able to interpret that science and convert that into, basically, materials that create some confusion for sharks' visual systems."

The blue-and-white "Elude" range, designed for divers and snorkelers, uses research about sharks' perceptions of light and colour blindness to essentially "hide you in the water column", Anderson said.

The "Diverter" - mainly for surfers - is based on what sharks perceive as danger signs in nature, with a bold black and white banding pattern to imitate an "unpalatable food item", according to UWA researcher Shaun Collin.

"Many animals in biology are repelled by noxious animals - prey that provide a signal that somehow says `Don't eat me' - and that has been manifest in a striped pattern," said Collin.

It is the culmination of a two-year research project funded by the Western Australia government following an unprecedented spate of shark attacks in the state which claimed five lives in the year to July 2012.

Sharks are common in Australian waters but deadly attacks have previously been rare, with only one of the average 15 incidents a year typically proving fatal.

Experts say the average number of attacks in the country has increased in line with population growth and the popularity of water sports.

Anderson and Jolly's research firm, Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS), licensed their technology to wetsuit maker Radiator, which opened pre-orders for the first suits online on Thursday from $392.

Stickers using the Diverter striped pattern are also available for the underside of surfboards and other watercraft.

Testing of the designs using dummies and tiger sharks off Australia's west coast has been successful, with the marine predators gliding past SAMS patterns but savaging traditional black wetsuits.

Further testing will be done off southern Australia and South Africa this Southern Hemisphere summer from December to February.

Anderson said there was "substantial" demand across the world for technologies to repel sharks, and SAMS would soon unveil a partnership with a major global technical swimwear brand.

"Everyone's looking for a solution, everyone's nervous about going in the water around the world now. It's not just Australia, we had a fatality in the Reunion Islands this week ," he said.

Of the wetsuits, he added: "It's safe, it's natural and gives the animals no harm at all."


       
Read more on:    australia  |  marine life
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The quest for understanding has reached a new intense emotional level. The more tempestuous your emotions are, the bigger the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.