Shark Fact & Fiction
International Â Shark Â Experts Â share Â the Â facts Â & Â dispel Â the Â myths
Are Â sharks Â more Â likely Â to Â attack Â at Â dusk Â or Â dawn? Â Do Â shark Â repellents Â attract Â sharks? Â Have Â shark Â attacks Â and sightings Â significantly Â increased Â over Â summer?Â Riley Â Elliott, Â coupled Â with Â independentÂ researchers Â share Â the Â facts Â and Â dispel Â the Â myths Â once Â and Â for Â all.
Riley Â Elliott, Â international Â shark Â scientist Â and Â researcher, Â avid Â spearfisherman, Â surfer Â and Â scuba Â diver Â says, â€œThere Â are Â a Â lot Â of Â myths Â around Â shark Â attacks Â that Â have Â been Â sensationalized Â by Â TV Â programs Â and Â simply Â the fear Â factor Â that Â ocean Â users Â feel Â and Â in Â turn Â choose Â to Â believe.â€
FACT: Â Sharks Â are Â more Â likely Â to Â attack Â at Â dusk Â or Â dawn
THE Â FACTS: Â Recent Â research, Â led Â by Â Flinders Â University Â shark Â ecologist Â Dr Â Charlie Â Huveneers Â has Â proven Â thisÂ theory Â to Â be Â a Â fact. Â The Â research Â team Â observed Â over Â 950 Â hunting Â approaches Â by Â 44 Â different Â sharks Â in Â South Australian Â waters Â over Â a Â 30 Â day Â period. Â The Â study Â revealed Â that Â White Â Sharks Â strategically Â approached Â their prey Â with Â the Â sun Â directly Â behind Â them Â on Â more Â occasions Â than Â from Â different Â directions. Â Proving Â that Â White Sharks Â in Â particular Â have Â the Â impressive Â ability Â to Â follow Â the Â direction Â of Â the Â sun Â to Â hunt Â their Â prey. Â -Ââ€
Riley Â says, Â â€œItâ€™s Â common Â knowledge Â that Â most Â predators Â hunt Â at Â dusk Â and Â dawn. Â The Â major Â reason Â in Â the ocean Â is Â that Â these Â times Â are Â transition Â periods Â where Â sunlight Â comes Â and Â goes, Â providing Â a Â window Â of opportunity Â for Â visual Â predators Â to Â capture Â prey Â that Â use Â the Â cover Â of Â night Â as Â protection Â for Â foraging. Â In relation Â to Â shark Â attacks Â specifically, Â these Â times Â increase Â the Â likelihood Â of Â interacting Â with Â a Â shark Â that Â is hunting, Â and Â the Â likelihood Â of Â it Â having Â less Â of Â a Â visual Â sense Â of Â what Â you Â actually Â are Â due Â to Â reduced Â light.â€
FICTION: Â Electronic Â shark Â deterrents Â attract Â sharks
THE Â FACTS: Â Independent Â testing Â of Â Shark Â Shieldâ€™s Â devices Â has Â proven Â it Â to Â be Â the Â most Â environmentally friendly, Â non-Ââ€lethal Â method Â for Â preventing Â shark Â attacks Â that Â leaves Â other Â marine Â life Â unaffected. Â This Â method utilises Â the Â sharkâ€™s Â highly Â sensitive Â electroreception Â organs, Â by Â creating Â pulses Â of Â low-Ââ€power Â electrical Â current, which Â are Â extremely Â uncomfortable Â for Â approaching Â sharks Â without Â affecting Â humans Â wearing Â such Â devices.
Riley Â adds, Â â€œAs Â with Â anything, Â you Â are Â a Â skeptic Â until Â you Â understand Â or Â try Â it. Â After Â learning Â the Â physics Â behind the Â shark shield Â it Â became Â clear Â that Â it Â is Â impossible Â for Â a Â shark Â to Â be Â attracted Â by Â a Â shark Â shield Â at Â distance.Â The Â physical Â properties Â of Â water Â do Â not Â allow Â for Â the Â Shark Â Shield Â signal Â to Â travel Â outside Â of Â the Â short Â range Â it has. Â Furthermore Â most Â shark Â species Â can Â only Â sense Â electrical Â signals Â at Â short Â distance Â of Â 0.5-Ââ€1m Â range. Â So where Â the Â shark Â can Â actually Â sense Â it, Â is Â right Â where Â you Â want Â to Â have Â a Â Shark Â Shield!â€
FICTION: Â Shark Â attacks Â and Â sighting Â increased Â significantly Â in Â Australia
THE Â FACTS: Â According Â to Â a Â recent Â article * , Â Prof Â Simpfendorfer Â attributed Â this Â to Â the Â fact Â that Â there Â are Â more and Â more Â people Â using Â the Â ocean. Â He Â was Â quoted Â saying,Â “Not Â only Â are Â there Â more Â of Â us, Â but Â things Â like wetsuits Â are Â letting Â us Â be Â in Â the Â water Â for Â longer, Â and Â watersports Â are Â increasingly Â popular.” Â The Â total Â number of Â shark Â bites Â is Â going Â up, Â he Â said. Â However, Â on Â a Â per-Ââ€person Â basis Â they Â are Â likely Â going Â down. Â In Â addition, data Â from Â the Â International Â Shark Â Attack Â File Â at Â the Â Florida Â Museum Â of Â Natural Â History Â supports Â this, Â showing direct Â correlation Â between Â population Â increase Â and Â shark Â encounters. Â -Ââ€