Great White Shark.
Great White Shark. Rachel Vercoe

Technology reduces shark attack risk

SURFERS can feel safer in the waters after research reveals the Freedom+ Surf powered by Shark Shield Technology successfully reduces the risk of great white shark attacks.

Testing results from Ocean Guardian Holdings Limited of the shark deterrent surfboard tail pad were undertaken in late 2017 and early 2018 and tested a number of shark deterrents with Ocean Guardian's being the only device to significantly reduce risk.

The high-tech kit includes a transferable power module, a tail pad with decal antenna and a charging dock.

The recent research showed the FREEDOM+ Surf significantly reduces the risk of a shark encounter for surfers in an enticed baited scenario by up to 60%.

All other shark deterrents tested failed with limited to no effects on white sharks.

Lindsay Lyon, Ocean Guardian CEO said, "the results of this latest testing are really no surprise to us. The Shark Shield Technology efficacy has been scientifically proven and independently tested time and time again in multiple locations around the world".

During the research, 297 successful trials were undertaken at the Neptune Islands in South Australia. 44 different white sharks interacted with bait and took 1,413 passes of the test boards.

Researchers said the Freedom+ Surf significantly affected shark behaviour by reducing the percentage of bait taken from 96% to 40% with sharks remaining further away from the bait when active.

Two-time World Surf Champion, Tom Carroll, said "as a surfer, I have a deep respect for sharks and the whole ocean ecosystem.

Yesterday, the West Australian Government Shark Deterrent Rebate program added Ocean Guardian's Freedom+ Surf, powered by Shark Shield Technology, to the approved products list.

"With this product, surfers can keep themselves protected without the need for harming sharks and other marine life. It's a win-win," Carroll said. 

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