Worldwide search for shark deterrents that work
THE WORLD’S best minds are being called on to apply for grants from the NSW Government to develop shark deterrent measures to keep beachgoers safe.
NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Lands and Water, Niall Blair, announced the grants on Sunday.
Mr Blair said new ideas and technologies are being sought to help build on existing technologies as part of the NSW Government’s $16 million Shark Management Strategy.
“We want technology developers, researchers, educational institutions, businesses and individuals to put their hand up for funding to develop a range of technologies for shark mitigation, in particular personal protective devices,” he said.
As researchers around the world have discovered, and Mr Blair agreed, there is no ‘one size fits all’ method to deter sharks, as different species rely on different senses to detect prey.
Researchers from the University of Western Australia have studied the brains and eyes of different species of man-eating sharks, including the great white and the hammerhead.
They found that the great white is colour blind and can only see in a shade of green and white.
The researchers determined that great white sharks are solo hunters, that rely on their vision and acute sense of smell to detect their prey.
Whereas, the brains of hammerhead sharks had developed differently, with poor vision, but high-developed senses to electrical and magnetic stimulation, making them more inclined to hunt in schools.
“There is no one solution to detecting and deterring sharks and that’s why we are determined to fund emerging technologies that could become real game changers when it comes to shark mitigation,” Mr Blair said.
The NSW Government is offering a total of $200,000 to support national or international projects, which are aligned to the strategy, and can increase protection for beachgoers when hitting the water.
Grants are open to national and international applicants, and joint applications are encouraged.
To apply for a grant, applicants should complete an Expression of Interest form.
For more information visit www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/sharks.
Key areas for funding aligned with the NSW Shark Management Strategy include:
Personal shark deterrents
Area-based shark deterrents
Shark detection methods
Shark biology relevant to interactions with humans
Socio-economics of shark/human interactions