Innovation That Matters

From Australia, wetsuit uses patterns to deter shark attacks

Work & Lifestyle

Shark Attack Mitigation Systems has developed new surfwear that deters sharks from attacking.

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The Surf Road Experience has helped those looking to catch a wave on holiday to make the most of their trip, but what about ensuring their safety? Australia’s Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS) has developed new surfwear that deters sharks from attacking.

The problem with traditional black wetsuits is that it makes humans appear to sharks as seals, which can contribute to sharks feeling more confident in attacking. The system employed by SAMS is to use camouflage that can disrupt the shark’s senses. One design is a black and white striped outfit that mimics techniques used by fish with contrasting colors, signalling to sharks that they are a more dangerous prey. Another pattern uses more traditional camouflage techniques to blend into the water. Although the suits aren’t guaranteed to prevent attacks, the designers say that they should cause sharks to hesitate before going in for the kill, buying humans some time to get out of the water. The video below shows the testing that went into the products.

The suits aim to help both surfers, swimmers and divers enjoy the water knowing they have an extra layer of protection that could help save their life in the event of a shark attack. Surfwear store Radiator will be the first to stock the suits, which will retail from AUD 429. Are there other inexpensive ways to adapt clothing to protect humans from the elements?



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