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Old 10-28-2015, 10:12 AM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Default SHARKBANZ, Potential Passive Shark Repellent?

Relatively low cost, small, convenient to use, doesn't even need batteries … but does it work consistently? It may be too soon to say but it is reported to be species specific in effectiveness not unlike other repellents back to WWII.




I was under the impression that Sharkbanz was effective against nurse sharks so I went out to see what one might do to such a shark. We have few free swimming sharks that can easily be found on demand unlike nurse sharks which are often all over the place.




Nurse sharks are about the last type to worry about, usually quite unaggressive and very common. They do bite quite a few people through time although usually with encouragement. They are the only type of shark I have been bitten by and I was giving it a ton of encouragement at the time, smart 18 year old. Still, because nurse sharks are common I thought I would run a Sharkbanz up and down its lateral line a bunch of times and see what happened. I mounted the Sharkbanz on the end of a Go-Scope monopod and mounted a GoPro to capture what went on in the encounters. The shark seemed to be totally unaware of what was going on. I heard back from Sharkbanz about this, see their response below.** Still, the device is fairly inexpensive, "seems" to be effective in the latest reef shark videos from Bimini.* Some have said placebo effects may account account for perhaps 30 % of cures in medicine. So, if it makes you feel more at ease, not to the point of doing really stupid things, why not wear one (or not), at least until more compelling information over a term of use comes in. It would be interesting to hear what folks experience exposing bull, hammer and tiger sharks to this device. The sharks are out there and regularly visited in some areas, so why not help us out with some cautious experiments on video?

The odds of a negative encounter are pretty low anyway for kiters based on past experience and who knows, it might put off a tiburon looking for a nibble one day. I threw one on an ankle in the last week, being prone to kiting in solitary sharky areas and around feeding time in Florida and beyond. Didn't see any sharks but then again, I usually don't either. If this thing might do you some good, you may well know about it. The sharks need to get that close to feel the magnetic field. If it doesn't work, well, there you go and you can take comfort in knowing? p.s. - before I forget, they are not supposed to be effective on white sharks either. Species specific behavior and potentially physiology apparently play into the deterrent qualities big time, well nothing new there in shark repellents. There may still be other limitations, so have a care out there with or without "gadgets."

* This video, unlike the first one which was very unconvincing, prompted me to get one of these things on a lark.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRIsEl4hAl8


p.s. - I am not sure what impact the rare earth magnet in this thing might do to memory cards in cameras, likely not good whatever the effect might be. So, I would try to keep the unit away from digital electronics.


** SHARKBANZ said the following about my one test with that nurse shark. "Hey Rick, just wanted to say hey via reference from our mutual friend and address your recent test with the Sharkbanz on the nurse shark. We've had pretty similar experiences with the banz and the nurses. According to Dr. Rice, they rely much more heavily on their other senses (smell, etc) rather than the electrical sense, and don't respond much to the magnetic fields. I've seen this in person, similar to what you saw. Later that day, when we tested on the caribbean reef's, we saw the reactions you see in our second video. Luckily, we both know that nurse sharks are basically harmless unless you really upset them, so we haven't been concerned with it. " I have asked for more specific information on performance with individual types of sharks and will pass along what I learn.
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Last edited by RickI; 05-06-2016 at 10:13 AM.
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