Shark Shield

For those of you living in Taiwan, this next little innovation is of no use to you. Pretty much anything that swims, walks or crawls has been tagged for food and conveniently waiting for you on a stick at your local night market. For the NorCal crew this maybe something worth having a look at. Especially if you spend anytime on pages like SurfPulse.com’s own Shark page.

So get this, a company based out of Australia known as Shark Shield Pty Ltd has released the first electronic shark deterrent system specifically designed for surfers. Weighing only 355 grams – and 80 grams in the water – the new system attaches to the tail of any surfboard.

The Shark Shield SURF generates an electrical field that is detected by the shark through its sensory receptors, known as the Ampullae of Lorenzini, found on the snouts of sharks. Once detected by the shark’s sensors, the field causes muscular spasms that result in the shark being deterred from the area.

The field is projected from electrodes in the tail of the unit that trail off the back of the surfboard, much like a legrope. This creates an elliptical field that surrounds the user with a shark safe zone that is up to eight meters in diameter.

Pretty crazy, huh?

Scientific tests, as well as observations, show the field emitted by the Shark Shield causes discomfort to the shark, which can eventually lead to muscular spasms. However, they say that once the shark leaves the area, there is no lasting detrimental effect to the shark. It just may twitch from time to time. Poor guys.

So this has actually been around since 2000 and is used by sporting, diving and fishing professionals, the Australian and US police and military, including the SAS and has also been issued with a NATO stock number….whatever that means.

The Shark Shield SURF includes deck grip, mounting plate and 240 volt charger. It is placed on the tail of the any surfboard, although the deck grip is optional. Mounting plates can be placed on numerous surfboards and the Shark Shield can then be transferred between surfboards. Legropes are easily fitted underneath the Shark Shield. It retails for $700 and is powered by a seven hour rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can be charged while driving to your favorite break.

Well Northern California is definately a breeding ground for some pretty heavy locals, but I haven’t seen any early adopters of this new device. Figured I would pass this on since it would probably make you feel good to know that your break is probably not as gnarly as some Down Under and in South Africa where the men in gray suits hunt in packs and you might actually need something like this….Yikes!

As our friend Dante would say…I don’t want to know what is down there…ignorance is bliss!

Now get out there and go for a paddle, ‘Be a Man’!…….Inside Joke!

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