Last updated: October 23, 2011
ipad story template strap

CM iPad section National

Shark repellent in the pipeline


HOPEFUL DEVELOPMENT: An electrical shark repellent could be just a few years away. Source: The Daily Telegraph

RESEARCHERS say they could be several years away from developing an effective shark repellent.

Shark biologist Ryan Kempster, one of those behind a petition to stop culling the man-eaters, has spent 18 months researching electrical shark repellents at the University of WA. "The basis of my research is how sharks detect electrical fields of other organisms," he said.

"The electrical sense of sharks is so short range we're talking 50cm max."

He said culling sharks was not the answer and would upset the ocean food chain.

His colleague, marine zoologist Dr Barbara Wueringer, said culling sharks would have a devastating effect on the ocean.

"It is a tragedy when someone dies, but at the same time we rely on the ocean," she said.

She said shark nets also did not work as they trapped humpback whales, dolphins, turtles and manta rays - and at least one child had died after being caught in a net.

She said spotter planes, special shark spotters like they had in South Africa and public education were better solutions.

WA surfers are lobbying government ministers for shark culling in the wake of recent sightings and attacks.

But a spokesman for Fisheries Minister Norman Moore said they were not considering a cull.

A public memorial service for Mr Martin, a 64-year-old Perth businessman, is being held at the Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club tomorrow.


Have your say

Skip to:
Read comments
Add comments
ipad story template RHC
iPad Teaser Pre Launch