Firstly, I have enormous respect for sharks. And, I don’t mean fear.
One of my favourite things to do is scuba dive. So, I have, on many occasions, come into contact with sharks while diving. This is not an unusual situation to be in when diving. And, for the most part, sharks stay away. Then, you get to witness these remarkable animals in their natural world.
However, as a diver, you still try to not to ‘look like a seal’. And, you certainly don’t go near sharks if they are near schools of fish and feeding. We are visitors to their world and that sort of stuff is just plain common sense.
From time to time, divers and, more often, surfer are attacked by sharks. Some attacks are fatal.
I am personally appalled by the decisions of governments to cull sharks that enter areas where humans swim, surf and dive. As I said, we are visitors in that world. Who are we to decide that an animal, doing what comes naturally (i.e. eating), should be killed? And, don’t get me started on the shark fin industry, else we’ll be here a while.
Into this world, enters two intrepid, water-loving entrepreneurs, Hamish Jolly and Craig Anderson. Together, with the Oceans Institute and School of Animal Biology at the University of Western Australia, they have designed wet suits that make the wearer invisible to sharks.
Sharks don’t have great eye sight. It is the last sense they use when hunting. So, up close, a surfer, snorkeler or diver in a wet suit can look remarkably like a seal.
Their wetsuits, under the brand name Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS), come in two forms. One confuses the shark, the other makes its wearer blend into the water and become invisible. You can even get stickers for surfboards to cause the same effects.
It’s a great innovation by these two Australian entrepreneurs that aims to decrease the risk of water sports loving people being the subject of a shark attack. And, hopefully, that will negate the need to cull these amazing animals.
Shark Attack Mitigation Systems – how to be invisible to sharks