Shark proof product revealed but would you wear it?
SUNSHINE Coast surfers and marine experts believe a new shark-proof product will alleviate the fears of most beach goers but will do little to change the habits of seasoned ocean lovers.
Sharkbanz will be launched this weekend. It is the size of a watch but has the power to ward off sharks.
The wrist or ankle bands use patented magnetic shark repellent technology.
American father and son inventors Nathan and David Garrison say surfers like them have a heightened fear of sharks because they spend so much time in the ocean.
The wristband does not harm the apex predators, but interferes with electrical receptors, prompting sharks to turn when they come into the field of energy.
The technology has been tested extensively on more than 10 of the most common predatory species such as bull and blacktip, which are responsible for the majority of "hit and run" attacks.
Sunshine Coast marine expert and diver Tony Isaacson said the bull shark was the most common in local waters and more often than not, any encounters with humans were curious ones rather than targeted attacks that a great white would display.
He said Sharkbanz was an excellent and non-lethal way to ward off sharks, but he questioned the power of the magnet.
"I'd be wanting to put one on both wrists and ankles," Mr Isaacson said. "There is technology like this coming out more and more, but it's sad that we are not hearing about this sort of thing from our government shark control people who are still in a time warp from the 1960s.
"Being shark smart is about not swimming in murky waters, particularly after big rains, always swimming with another person, and never entering the water at dawn or dusk."
XL Surf Academy owner Robbie Sherwell said he, like most serious surfers, wouldn't bother wearing the Sharkbanz.
"Full-on surfers won't be worried about sharks. It's the novice or first time surfers who might be," he said. "There hasn't been shark attack on the Coast in 40 years, yet we surf with sharks every day. I have no doubt this is a great product but I don't know too many hard core surfers who would bother."
What is sharkbanz?
Shark repellent technology which uses special patented magnetic technology to deter sharks from attacking people. It comes in the form of a wrist or ankle band.