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Evaluating the Shark Deterrent Effects of the Novel Exclusion Barrier in Comparison to the Rigorously Tested Sharksafe Barrier Technology

1
School for Marine Science and Technology, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 706 South Rodney French Boulevard, New Bedford, MA 02744, USA
2
O’Seas Conservation Foundation, Montauk, NY 11954, USA
3
Department of Marine Science, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC 29526, USA
4
Neal Watsons Bimini Scuba Center, Bimini 32110, Bahamas
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Dariusz Kucharczyk and Francesco Tiralongo
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2022, 10(5), 634; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10050634
Received: 20 February 2022 / Revised: 3 April 2022 / Accepted: 26 April 2022 / Published: 6 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Marine Biology)
Although exceedingly rare, shark attacks have a disproportionately large impact on human behavior, often resulting in shark culls. Due to the invasive nature of shark culls, innovating and testing non-invasive deterrent technologies that may minimize the potential for a rare negative shark encounter has become a conservation priority. One such mitigation approach is barriers, such as exclusion nets and the Sharksafe barrier. With both technologies exhibiting limitations and/or ineffectiveness (e.g., Sharksafe barrier), the development of a more effective technology was warranted. Therefore, this study had two key objectives: (1) to determine if DC 12 Volts 180 Newtons electromagnets can produce deterrent responses in the bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) and (2) to determine if a newly designed and eco-friendly Exclusion barrier exhibits enhanced C. leucas deterrent capabilities when directly compared to the Sharksafe barrier. Based on 100 baited apparatus trials, electromagnetically treated baits resulted in significantly greater avoidance and reduced feeding frequencies. Furthermore, Poisson generalized linear mixed effect model analyses based on 27, 1-h trials illustrated that the Exclusion barrier region resulted in the greatest avoidance and lowest entrance and exit frequencies when compared to the control and Sharksafe barrier regions. Although the Exclusion barrier did not exclude all interacting sharks, the technology provided superior deterrent efficacy in relation to the Sharksafe barrier. Therefore, with many shark populations exhibiting precipitous declines, continued research on this novel technology on potentially dangerous shark species (e.g., white sharks—Carcharodon carcharias) and in varying ecological conditions (e.g., a high energy coastline) is warranted. View Full-Text
Keywords: bull shark; Carcharhinus leucas; beach nets; sharksafe barrier; permanent magnets; eco-friendly bull shark; Carcharhinus leucas; beach nets; sharksafe barrier; permanent magnets; eco-friendly
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MDPI and ACS Style

O’Connell, C.P.; Crews, J.; King, A.; Gressle, J. Evaluating the Shark Deterrent Effects of the Novel Exclusion Barrier in Comparison to the Rigorously Tested Sharksafe Barrier Technology. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2022, 10, 634. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10050634

AMA Style

O’Connell CP, Crews J, King A, Gressle J. Evaluating the Shark Deterrent Effects of the Novel Exclusion Barrier in Comparison to the Rigorously Tested Sharksafe Barrier Technology. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2022; 10(5):634. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10050634

Chicago/Turabian Style

O’Connell, Craig P, Julia Crews, Andre King, and Juliet Gressle. 2022. "Evaluating the Shark Deterrent Effects of the Novel Exclusion Barrier in Comparison to the Rigorously Tested Sharksafe Barrier Technology" Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 10, no. 5: 634. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse10050634

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