09 September 2005

Australia: Rush for anti-shark pulse kit

TWO shark attacks in South Australian waters in the past two weeks have triggered a rush for an anti-shark pulsing device that is said to deter killer great whites.

Shark Shield is an electronic device that emits a pulse to repel sharks at close range. It is mandatory for all scuba divers in state government departments, including police and local Research and Development Institute staff.

Universities, charter boat operators, navy clearance divers and reservists, a navy officer, dive shops and health and safety officers of organisations employing divers have all contacted SeaChange Technology, the company marketing the device, in the past two weeks asking about their Shark Shield technology.

"Since the attack we have received calls from virtually all states," said SeaChange Technology chairman Rod Hartley, who said sales inquiries had increased 300 per cent since the recent attacks.

Mr Hartley said much of the concern of employers focused on their obligation to protect workers.

"State regulations say an employer has an obligation to provide a safe worksite," he said. "The coroner recommended (in 2003) that all divers operating in water where there is a risk of the presence of sharks should use a shark repellent device such as Shark Shield."

Adelaide University trialled the Shark Shield, but told employees it was their own choice as to whether they used it while diving.

Source: www.sharktrust.org


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