New research using LED lights to deter sharks from eating surfers—5 April 2018

Researchers at Macquarie University are investigating ways of using LED lights to deter sharks from approaching surfers, with support from an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Projects grant.

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Nathan Hart says that LED lights placed on the underside of a surfboard in certain configurations, can blur the outline and dissuade the sharks from attacking.

The system has been tested and found to be successful when using foam seal decoys towed behind research ships in the shark-rich waters of Mossel Bay, South Africa.

The $300,000 research project has Smart Marine Systems Ltd (SMS) on board as an industry partner, as well as the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Taronga Zoo.

Professor Hart, who has previously helped SMS to develop camouflage wetsuit designs that deter sharks, is confident the technology can be applied to anything that floats, including kayaks.

Media issued by Macquarie University.

 

Image: Seal-shaped decoys were towed behind the researchers' boat in the shark-rich waters of Mossel Bay, South Africa.
Source: Macquarie University.

Original Published Date: 
Thursday, April 5, 2018