Let’s be clear for a minute. Sharks do not seek out humans. The few attacks that do occur (around 70 attack per year) happen in a state of confusion or curiosity. Of the well over 300 species of sharks out there, only around a dozen have been involved in shark attacks. They should not be villainized, and the mass killing (~73 million sharks a year are killed for the global fin trade) needs to stop.
70 attacks per year is definitely not negligible, though, especially if you spend a lot of time surfing, swimming, or generally recreating in an area where sharks are known to hang out. That’s where Sharkbanz comes in. These bracelets/ankle bracelets act as detergents for sharks, creating an electromagnetic field that disrupts a shark’s sensory organ, convincing the sea creature to stay away.
If you’re in a dark room and a bright flashlight is suddenly shined towards you, what do you do? You turn away, right? According to the company’s website, sharks experience a similar sensation when approaching the Sharkbanz. It doesn’t hurt them longterm, but it certainly spooks them enough to back away. The question is, of course, does it work? Peer reviewed research says yes, so you can feel pretty darn confident that they aren’t making any of this up. In fact, it will apparently work on any elasmobranch species, deterring rays, skates, and sawfish alongside sharks.
The Sharkbanz doesn’t require any charging and it doesn’t have to be turned on or off, it’s just always on. It’s important to remember, of course, that this product will just reduce the risk of a shark attack, not fully eliminate it. If you jump into an enclosure filled with a bunch of hungry great white sharks, there’s a good chance the Sharkbanz won’t be able to completely save you, and if you’re in the ocean near sharks, you’re still risking an attack. But, for surfers, scuba divers, fishermen, and other ocean recreations, it could definitely create a safer environment while providing a much more comfortable state of mind.
The company currently offers two products, the Sharkbanz 2 Wearable Shark Deterrent for $128, and the Zeppelin, a shark deterrent sinker designed to keep sharks off of your fishing line, for $75. If you’re planning a trip somewhere known to have sharks, or you live somewhere known to have sharks, maybe consider picking up one of these.
Image Credit: Sharkbanz via Facebook