Western Australia will soon receive cutting-edge technology on protecting people from shark attacks, in the form of electromagnetic cables. Because of the ongoing threat of shark attacks to locals and visitors, the South African Sharks Board has determined that Busselton Jetty will be the first place to receive this potentially life-saving technology — and it could be up and running by the end of this year.
Divers and swimmers will be able to relax and enjoy the water in safety, thanks to 150 meters of electromagnetic cable strategically placed on the outskirts of the jetty. The technology has already been tested in South Africa, where it had a 100% success rate — and experts believe they’ll enjoy similar reports once the cables are installed around Busselton. When sharks approach, the device sends out electromagnetic pulses. These pulses serve to scare and disorient the animals, which flee for more peaceful waters; meanwhile, human swimmers and divers will be free to safely enjoy the water without fear of attack.
“This is really groundbreaking technology and has some future potential in a lot of different areas around the city of Busselton and Western Australia.”
The state government plans to contribute around $50,000 towards the shark cable, which could help increase tourism and lure visitors with the promise of safer waters. Meanwhile, South Africa has agreed to pay for around 90% of the installation. They will continue to observe the technology, providing corrections and improvements as development progresses.
Should this technology prove as successful as the testing phase indicates, this could well be the first of many electromagnetic cables to be installed throughout Australia. As an added bonus, these life-saving devices are relatively inexpensive to install and maintain. In fact, each of the electromagnetic deterrents ends up costing less than $100,000 per site.
However, before the new technology can be implemented, it has to meet the approval of Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority. They will do extensive testing to determine that the electromagnetic cables are safe for aquatic life as well as humans. Should the testing proceed smoothly, Busselton will provide people with an unprecedented opportunity to swim in the same waters as Great White Sharks without worrying about their safety.
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