Researchers test new “eco-friendly” shark barriers

eNCA reports that researchers from Stellenbosch University are performing a test trial of a new “eco-friendly” shark barrier near Dyer Island off the coast of Gansbaai, SA.

The Sharksafe Barrier System consists of connected rigid pipes that span from the ocean floor to the surface. The system is designed to resemble kelp and emits a “magnetic barrier,” which will deter sharks from attempting to swim through the artificial barrier, according to the team who developed the system.

Unlike “traditional” shark nets that indiscriminately kill various forms of marine life, the Sharksafe Barrier System is designed to serve as a physical barrier to merely deter sharks from passing through. The system will span from shoreline to shoreline, as well as from the sea floor to the surface, to create an all-encompassing barrier, unlike traditional nets.

In addition to researchers from Stellenbosch University, PhD candidate Craig O’Connell (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth) and renown diver and white shark conservationist Mike Rutzen have collaborated on the project, which has been under development since 2011. The team plans to finish testing the barrier within the next month before submitting requests for permission to use the barriers at Cape Town’s Muizenberg and Fish Hoek beaches.

One comment

  1. Rod Prodgers says:

    brilliant in its simplicity and use of established shark behaviour knowledge . . . well done! Proudly South African!

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