Testing of electronic cable will take place in Cape Town
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 19 September, 2014 - The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board (KZNSB) will begin testing an electronic shark repellent cable next month in an attempt to prevent future shark attacks. In 2012, the Institute for Maritime Technology (IMT) in Simon’s Town was contracted to design and build a demonstrator cable. The engineering and technical team first built a short cable that was tested for sea-worthiness.
“If this system works, it will keep sharks and bathers at a safe distance from each other without harming either humans or sharks,” the board’s CEO Mthokozisi Radebe said on Monday. Testing will be carried out at Glencairn beach in Cape Town.
After a medical evaluation showed the electronic pulse emitted was within “conservative” safety limits, a full-length demonstrator cable was constructed. Radebe said the cable would emit a low frequency, pulsed electronic signal, which was known to repel great white sharks.
“If successful, it will provide the basis to develop a barrier system that can protect bathers without killing or harming sharks or any other marine animals. “It is important to note that this is an experiment, and at this time [during the testing] the cable offers no protection against shark attacks to bathers or other water users.”
The board had received a permit from the department of environmental affairs to test the 100m long cable, and it would be installed parallel to the shore in early October.
It will be activated on certain days, during daylight hours, from November until March next year.