According to Loggerhead Marine Life Center, it is somewhat untrue that sharks are attracted to human blood. Sure, they have an amazing smell, but blood, whether it is from an open wound or a period is not what attracts them.
Rather, they have this remarkable sensing organ called the ampullae of Lorenzini. This organ detects electric fields produced by living things. And, yes. They can also detect blood from miles away. However, contrary to popular opinion, they are not attracted to human blood.
They are more likely attracted to a bleeding fish or sea lion than human secreting blood.
Now that you’ve crossed off the blood as a factor in sharks coming near you, what else can you do to keep them away? You probably still have the image of Australian pro surfer Mick Fanning who narrowly escapade a shark attack in South Africa. You must have read about items that would repel sharks away.
Table of Contents
Top 3 Best Shark Repellents
We’re going to look at different shark repellents available in the market that will help reduce the risk of a shark attack by interfering with one of their many active senses.
- Shark Shield Freedom 7 by Ocean Guardian
- Sharkbanz 2 Repellent by Sharkbanz
- Shark Repellent Bracelet by Shark Off
Top 3 Best Shark Repellents
#1. Shark Shield Freedom 7 by Ocean Guardian – Best Electrical Shark Repellent
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Easy to wear neoprene Velcro pouch
- Rechargeable lithium battery lasts up to 7 hours
- Depth rated to 50 meters
- Mandated safety equipment in industries like Abalone Diving
Since 2001, Ocean Guard has protected a huge number of ocean lovers and counteracted the unnecessary killing of sharks from environmentally fatal shark nets, drum lines, and shark culling. They did this and became the world’s leading shark deterrent technology with their Shark Shield Technology.
This technology they came up with is the only scientifically substantiated electrical shark deterrent that is effective in deterring the Great Whites. Shark Shield Technology is very efficient, that the government approved the devices for consumer rebates.
Freedom 7 is Ocean Guardian’s products that use this technology. It offers spearfishers, snorkelers, swimmers, and surfers that peace of mind that they can safely cross the shoreline and get to the water.
This shark repellent emits a frequency that extends out up to 8 meters. It allows water enthusiasts to enjoy the ocean without needing to be concerned about sharks.
Its 7 hours of battery life is ideal for divers and surfers. It can be fitted comfortably to the lower leg with the equipped neoprene pouch. Attached to it is a probe that trails inconspicuously behind the swimmer. You can barely even notice it in the waters.
Shark Shield Freedom 7 combines two electrodes that project the field from the unit and creates an imperceptible protective shield that surrounds the diver. These electrodes should be submerged in water to function and give protection to the wearer.
|Fully waterproof with a great depth rating||Must be manually switched off and on|
|Ankle device with a 2.2m flexible antenna||Larger compared to other repellents
|Longer and wider coverage (up to 8 meters)||More expensive than most brands|
|Replaceable battery packs
|Longer battery life
#2. Sharkbanz 2 by Sharkbanz – Best Magnetic Shark Repellent
- Worn on Ankle or Wrist
- Universal Fit – Ages 5+
- Dive, Swim, Surf – 100m/330ft
- TSA and Airline Travel-Friendly
- Weights 3 oz.
Lifelong surfer Nathan Garrison sat on surfboards for a long time because of his fear of shark attacks. All those years, he’s wondered about what lurked below and what could the solution be for his fear.
After a spending a notably spooky day filled with laughter and conversations with his father (who eventually became his partner), David Garrison, they decided to do something about it. It took them three years of testing and designing while having close encounters with the Great Whites.
Eventually, they perfected their design and on the first day of 2015, they released Sharkbanz. Their technology that had the 4 principles they originally had in mind – effective, simple, affordable, and stylish.
Electronic shark repellents do the job well, however, they can’t tolerate the highly corrosive ocean environment too well. This is the basis of Sharkbanzs’s design. For surfers to have patented magnetic technology to deter sharks that can outdo the electronic repellent’s tolerance of corrosive ocean effects.
Sharkbanz 2 band showcases a huge integrated magnet that releases a strong frequency into the encircling marine environment. It is comfortable to wear as it weighs just around 85 grams and can fit snugly around the ankle or arm. While the weight doesn’t do any bearing for beginners, they do for professionals.
Prestigious schools like the School of Coastal Environment Department of Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University took Sharkbanz 2 to analyze its effectivity. Their product trial resulted in 1235 total shark interactions. They let out two dummies – one had Sharkbanz, one did not.
It showed that the average amount of time sharks took to attack dummies that had no Sharkbanz was 46 seconds. All the while, there were no recorded attacks on the dummy that had the repellent.
Just a little reminder when using Sharkbanz 2. Its magnetic mechanism is so strong that when you use a watch along with it, the watch will promptly die. Take off your watch and put away your phone when using this band.
|Strong magnet effectively deters sharks||May delete data on phones and computers due to strong magnets|
|No batteries or charging required||Should not be worn with other electronics (watch, mobile phone)
|Silicone bracelet is adjustable||Removing magnetic sand from it
|Excellent depth rating
|Safe for airline travel|
#3. Shark Repellent Bracelet by Shark Off – Best Shark Repellent for Family
- Adjustable bands
- Patented proprietary active element
- Beach styled
- Attractive gender fluid design
- Handmade and natural
Shea Gist, CEO, and founder of Shark Off was just as terrified as everyone was when she saw the movie Jaws as a little girl. She liked the oceans but were afraid of sharks. She was blown away when her team discovered the technology that repels sharks had been around for many years.
She and her husband wanted to bring the technology because as parents, they knew the importance of keeping the kids’ safety as the top priority. Their main mission is for millions of beachgoers every year to lose the fear and love the ocean.
The Science of Shark Off is their patented active element that uses the amount of electricity that sharks can feel and use it against them. Sharks have sensors called the ampullae of Lorenzini that can pick up outrageously tiny electrical signals.
These sensors are the very senses that Shark OFF uses against the sharks. Shark OFF overstimulates it to a higher voltage to repel them. It gives off great voltage that causes the shark to jerk away from it. The active elements emit volts that are billion times stronger than the shark’s ampullae of Lorenzini.
The effect of the volts is absolutely blinding for sharks but is imperceptible to us.
In addition, the design of the bracelet looks cool and hip. Made of wood and leather, they will look stylish on the beach and even out on a casual day. It is adjustable and everyone in the family can wear it. Part of your purchase goes to the Pacific Cleaning organization. So, you are not just repelling sharks, you’re helping make a better environment for them, too.
|Has safety-grab ropes along the perimeter of the boat for better grip during trips||The boat is more substantial than usual, so there is a need for two people to lift it
|Three-air-chamber construction for better and faster inflation/deflation||An electric pump is better when inflating the boat than their free hand pump|
|Has a metal motor mount to put up a motor quickly||Only works best for three adults instead of four
|Wood floorboards for stability
|Comes with collapsible oars
Every year, ISAF (International Shark Attack File) records an average of unprovoked shark attacks worldwide. Shark attacks are classified into provoked and unprovoked. A provoked attack happens when a human initiates contact with a shark in some way.
Provoked attacks include cases when people are attacked after bothering or trying to touch sharks, attacks on spearfishers and people attempting to feed sharks, snaps happening while releasing a shark from a fishnet, and so on.
Unprovoked attacks are incidents where a strike on a live human happens in the shark’s environment without the human provoking the shark.
ISAF studies the effect of population growth on the number of shark attacks. It simply says, the more humans in the sea, the more people and sharks have potential interaction. As the human population grows, so does the interest in outdoor activities such as surfing and diving.
In their study, the US leads the number of unprovoked attacks. In 2019 alone, the US had 41 cases followed by Australia that had 11. Half of the cases recorded in the US happened in Florida where it held 21 cases of unprovoked attacks.
Are these attacks related to surfing and board sports, you may ask? Yes. Following its recent trends, riders participating in surfing and board sports accounted for half the total number of incidents:
- Surfing/Boardsports – 53%
- Swimming/Wading – 25%
- Snorkeling/Free Diving – 11%
- Body Surfing/Horseplay – 8%
- Scuba – 3%
The odds of getting attacked by a shark are 1 in 3.7 million. This means you are more likely to die from lighting (1 in 79,000) or a car accident (1 in 84). But, understanding shark attacks is important especially for water sports enthusiasts.
Worldwide, the number of shark attacks is significantly low, considering the number of people actively participating in water recreation sports every year. Over the years, fatality rates have declined. This reflects the advancement in beach safety, medical treatment, and public awareness.
The numbers simply say the significance of large-scale efforts to improv ocean rescue, medical care, as well as shark education. Find out more about what to do when attacked by a shark or reducing your risk of getting attacked by visiting Florida Museum’s website.
Buying Guide – Picking A Shark Repellent
Shark repellents have 4 different varieties – electrical, magnetic, acoustic, and scent-based. Each works in their ways and have proven to be effective. Electrical shark deterrents work by sending out electrical signals that overthrow sharks. They are fairly new in the market and although they are still in the testing phase, those who have tried it swear by it.
Magnetic shark repellents have the same effect as electrical repellents, except they use magnets. Magnets were discovered to affect sharks and are cheaper than electronic devices.
Acoustic shark repellent is the newest technology and is still under intensive research and testing. Acoustic devices emit the sound of Orca whales that are known to drive away sharks. Not an example of an acoustic shark repellent was included on the list since we would recommend we wait more results from research and tests being conducted.
Smell-based shark repellents are the cheapest in the market. They don’t require batteries nor other equipment. They simply emit a scent that is annoying to sharks but harmless to humans. The only problem with this type is that the smell runs out after a certain time so you will have to refill every time.
Which Shark Repellents Work The Best?
Not one of these shark repellents can protect you from sharks, but they can help in putting their attention away from you. They are worth the time, money, and effort to use them. You can compare them to a car’s seat belt that reduces the risk of fatality in car accidents, while not eliminating it.
Having said that, amongst the 4 types of shark repellents, the electrical and magnetic ones seem to be the most effective. Both target the sensory organ that makes shark attentive to anything around them.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Shark Attack?
Australian Shark Attack File came up with a list of ways of minimizing your risk of being attacked by sharks. Some of them include:
- Always dive, surf, and swim with a group of people
- Avoid dirty waters that make it hard to detect sharks approaching
- Avoid going into the water at nightfall, dawn or night, since sharks are more active during such times of the day
- Avoid swimming or surfing by the river mouths, particularly after the rain
- Don’t swim with pets
- Be careful wading through shallow seas, especially where kelp is about as there is more probability of accidentally stepping on a wobbegong shark
- Take off jewelry before getting into the water since they reflect light the same way fish scales do.
Shark repellents are the category of animal repellents for sharks. They do not entirely prevent shark attacks but they help in keeping them at a safe distance. As far as where they are less likely to kill humans.
Understand, however, that shark repellent technology is still in its early phases and more researches is still put onto it to make it better. The best way to be safe is to try any one of what we have on the list plus practicing a few precautions that have been mentioned, too.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: How do shark repellents work?
Q: Do magnets really deter sharks?
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G’day, my name is Rach Taylor and I’m the proud Founder of Surf Hungry. I am a former Australian Olympic athlete and Australian representative surf sports athlete. I’ve worked in the surf industry and lived at many of Australia’s best surf spots, sparking a life-long love of the ocean and a passion for surf sports which also rubbed off on my two young sons! I am also lucky to spend a lot of ocean-time in my favorite second home, Indonesia. In addition to SurfHungry I have founded several other websites in my areas of passion, namely coffee and rock climbing, and am also a regular rowing content contributor.