This Is the Only Proven Way to Deter a Great White Shark | The Swim

This Is the Only Proven Way to Deter a Great White Shark | The Swim

In the story of an epic journey across the Pacific Ocean, one particular character might quickly come to mind. Ben saw it first, actually; it was just
straight on the bow of the boat three meters away – it was, like, bigger than Ben. Before we left, we finally managed to
get in touch with a shark specialist to ask what to do in case of sharks. That specialist was Dr. Charlie Huveneers, a biologist who works to unlock
the mysteries of shark behavior. Charlie and his team hope to find scientifically sound ways to help sharks and humans share the ocean. There’s a lot of situations when sharks and humans
will be interacting, will be in the same area without anything happening. Overall, some of these pelagic species
are typically quite curious. Evolutionarily, if you’re living in the middle of the ocean, you’d need to be curious and investigate random objects to be able to survive. Unfortunately, it’s hard to be in the mind of a shark to be able to understand why in some cases sharks do decide to attack. In the case of Ben, like any other human, the risks overall from shark attacks are very, very low. However, Ben will be spending a fair amount of time in the water, swimming in a fairly remote location where white sharks are more likely to be occurring. Sharks have a fearsome reputation.
But only a handful of the hundreds of known species could pose a threat to humans. Nonetheless, the crew consulted with Charlie on their options to lower Ben’s risk of a dangerous encounter. A deterrent is effective when it can
reduce the risk of a shark bite. There are things like chemical repellents aimed at overwhelming the olfaction, the smell of the shark; there are wetsuits that are trying to somewhat camouflage the person wearing it; there’s no silver bullet. It turns out that the same super sensory adaptations that have allowed these prehistoric predators to flourish in every ocean for 400 million years… may also be the key to how we can coexist with them today. The electromagnetic sense that sharks have is called the ampullae of Lorenzini. It is small pores that are located on the snout of the sharks, that are filled with a gel. That gel is conductive, and allows that electric field
to be passed on to the sensory organs and then processed by the brain. And that enables them to feel and detect a very weak electromagnetic field in the water. So if sharks use these heightened senses to detect prey, can we design technology that can tap into the sharks’ electromagnetic receptors,
to keep both humans and sharks safe? To find out, Charlie and his team placed five different deterrents in known shark hangouts and attempted to lure the sharks
towards some tasty tuna. Two were based on electric fields. We had a total of 300 trials. During those trials,
we tested about 44 sharks, interacting with our experimental gear,
and these sharks did more than 1500 passes. What the team found was that only one of the deterrents tested had any effect on the behavior of the sharks: the Shark Shield, that targeted the sensitive ampullae. When you have the shark shield,
it is very annoying for sharks. So at first they are curious and they come close,
but if they come too close it’s a bit like a very loud speaker for your ear.
You won’t stay around. It doesn’t harm you, but it’s a bit annoying. Without any deterrent, the shark was taking the bait that we were presenting them about about 96% of the time. Once we used this electric field deterrent, the proportion of bait being taken by the shark
was reduced down to 40%. The crew keeps this device aboard the dinghy
while Ben swims, but Ben didn’t need it during his recent peaceful encounter with a mako shark. But it seems such a moment with a shark that isn’t a man-eating machine is still quite difficult for some to imagine. Some studies have suggested that the public tends to overestimate the occurrence of shark attacks by 10 or even 100 times. There’s just so little we actually know
about these fascinating fish. We’ve got more than 500 different species of sharks and out of those there are still a lot of species that are currently unknown. We don’t even know their reproductive cycle. We don’t even know where they’ve been feeding. The reason why I stay in the water whenever we have any type of sea life is to observe it and try to understand it a little bit more. It’s not about Jaws, the movie that we all know. Sharks are not like that. Sometimes they are like us, or like any animals;
they are curious. When people mostly first dive with sharks, the first thing they say is “wow, that was impressive. That was beautiful.” They’re more in awe rather than they were in fear. Ben’s swim across the Pacific is amazing. Obviously, you know, he has to be careful But in most cases, he’ll be quite lucky to be able to observe these animals in a natural environment that not many people get to see as well. Be sure to visit to
read daily updates from Ben Lecomte, track his progress in real-time, and watch more videos about the science happening onboard Seeker. Click here for this next episode, and don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for watching!

100 thoughts on “This Is the Only Proven Way to Deter a Great White Shark | The Swim

  1. ok buddy i’ll only believe your electric field works when you use it with a human and a great white, i’m happy to stay on land

  2. OK… Now.. I KNOW the chances of being bitten by a shark are etremly low compared to being hit by a car or bitten by a dog but the video title says "only proven way" but then the expert in the video says the sharks took a bite out of the baitfish 40% of the time. To me, a 40% chance of a bite from a shark is not a proven guarantee of deterrence.

    What's my solution if I were in the water and an aggressive species known to kill humans came by?  The joke one is learn to make and look like an Orca, the serious one is to swim in a cloud of rotted shark, especially one that may have died in fear of its life. Sharks don't like the smell of their own death.

  3. Minute 0:32, is that a white shark? For me it looks more like a Mako…

    EDIT: At minute 4:25 they confirm it's a Mako 🙂

  4. Stop feeding damn sharks in the wild. Carry out your experiments using another method.

    Don't want them to link humans with freebies.

  5. Essense of dead shark. Once exposed to the water caused them to swim away.

  6. We had a juvee female mako tagged off the coast here in VB, VA. She's tracked on Ocean, and has made an amazing journey to Nova Scotia and then then down into the Gulf of Mexico… unbelievable!

  7. I can tell you the very best way to deter a great white is with a powerhead speargun.
    A 12 gauge dose of metal marbles does great things for deterrence.

  8. Ways to avoid confrontations? Try not entering the food chain by choice. Sorry…i have the advantage with age and common sense.

  9. Using chum to attract white sharks for tourist needs to stop too. They associate humans with food and one prat who uploaded a video on hear was just a few hundred yards from the beach when he was chumming the water. There were families on that beach and in the water. And if someone was bit or killed the shark would be blamed, not the arsehole who drew them in with the best smell imaginable (to a shark). 😒

  10. amazing… what a killer machine!!! Note sure if I would like to meet that thing while diving… 🙂 Those sharks (even great white) at Hawaii seems to look less active than at Australia…

  11. Yup watch the video of people swimming in open ocean by a cruise ship. A lady screens as a great white took her leg off in a second…. hmmm just like jaws.. lol. Nooo thanks. I don’t pet lions or tigers either.

  12. Humans look like a seal in their rubber suits…so shark attacks them.
    If you don’t want to risk getting eaten,don’t be in their zone.

  13. Sharks have many nerve endings on the front of the animal. if you ever need to, strike the shark in the beak, that may send it away. A good old fashioned punch in the nose. I have heard reports that; that does work.

  14. Study sharks”, arent they just like big fish. They just follow the steam, living by instinct and does not necesarly use their brain, if anyone understand what i mean. Lions for example are predators as well, but u could build a relationship with one by spending a lot of time with them. But i dont think sharks is the same, their just braindead icecoold killers

  15. "We don't know anything about sharks or their behavior really, we don't even know what they eat." Sure, so let's go swim with them..

  16. I remember chatting to a friend about shark deterents, how I read books about devices that keep the sharks away.
    His response was to say, that's all well and good but has the shark read the same book as you.

  17. Looks like Fukushima nuclear disaster is not good for GWs migration to US West coast. Any studies on the effect done yet in terms of population shrinkage? We are over 7 years after the disaster now.

  18. Stupid Hippies who think they have to be friends with everything……. learn the hard way , get eaten , I really don’t care…..

  19. Any time people try to pretend that sharks are not something to fear, they discredit themselves. Beautiful, yes; Majestic, definitely… they are still predators.

  20. the one and only surefire way to avoid getting attacked by a shark… is to stay out of the water. It works every time. True story.

  21. I've survived 10 shark attacks by dressing up like a killer whale. Those Sharks know who the alpha is

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