Patterned designs aim to confuse sharks’ vision
SHARK Mitigation Systems surged on the sharemarket yesterday (January 17) after announcing a partnership with international surf retailer Rusty, which will incorporate the company’s shark-deterring patterns into its surfboards.
In conjunction with the University of Western Australia, Shark Mitigation Systems has developed patterns for wetsuits and surfboards designed to reduce the risk of a shark attack by confusing the predator’s vision.
Researchers say testing in South Africa showed it took, on average, 400 per cent longer for sharks to engage with their patterned wetsuits than standard black versions and, while the surfboards are not directly referenced in that study, the company says the science is similar.
A sharp increase in shark interactions in recent years has significantly boosted international interest in the technology, according to Shark Mitigation Systems co-founder Craig Anderson.
“We’ve been talking to a number of different water apparel and water equipment companies all over the world. There are already companies offering our graphic on the bottom of their board, as a retrofit or as a custom design,” Mr Anderson told The Australian.
“Sharks have seven senses, two extra that we don’t have, and it’s widely understood that their weakest sense is sight.
“We know we can incorporate designs that create confusion for a shark’s visual system into the product at manufacture stage. That means is you don’t have to buy another piece of kit.”