Does this wetsuit tap our scientific understanding of shark vision?
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 23 April, 2014 - Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.)
Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.
Hamish Jolly brings his entrepreneurial eye to the rare but scary issue of shark attacks.
Related report from July 2013
Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS) has released new shark deterrent design technology that is applied to wetsuits to reduce the chance of shark attack. The patented designs can also be applied to stickers for surfboards, dive tanks, kayaks and other watersport products.
In recent years, there has been mounting global concern about the increased number of shark sightings and fatalities. Western Australia is now recognised as the world's deadliest location for sharks - with 5 fatal attacks over the last two years. In response to an increasing problem, Shark Attack Mitigation Systems collaborated with the Oceans Institute at the University of Western Australia to find a practical solution for shark protection.
The Oceans Institute team headed by Professor Shaun Collin and Professor Nathan Hart has been studying shark vision for a number of years and is considered the world leading authority in the field. The team has made a number of significant scientific discoveries relating to shark sensory systems - including the fact that sharks see in black and white.
Although sharks use a number of senses to locate prey, it is known that vision is the crucial sense in the final stage of an attack. By disrupting a shark's visual perception, an attack can either be diverted altogether or at least delayed to allow time to exit the water. SAMS has been working with the university for a number years and has translated the scientific data into a range of shark deterrent designs.
The two design variations either present the wearer as potentially dangerous and unpalatable to a shark, or make it very difficult for the shark to see the wearer in the water. The shark deterrent technology can be applied to products such as wetsuits, skins and stickers for diving air tanks, surfboards, kayaks, skis and more. Radiator is the first company licensed to incorporate SAMS Technology™ into wetsuits and surfboard stickers, while other established brands are expected to follow suit soon.