As the number of shark bite instances increases in Australia, scientists claim that using personal electronic deterrents can effectively help ward off future deaths and injuries that may save the lives of up to 1063 Australians along the coastline over the following 50 years.
The research was posted in the scientific journal Royal Society Open Science, and it proves that, though shark attacks are very rare happenings, strategies to decrease shark-bite risks are beneficial because they can severely impact victims and their support groups – with a third of the victims experiencing severe PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
The researchers looked at per-capita shark bites around the country between 1900 and 2020. They formed models to predict the preventative impact of electronic deterrents if they were worn by water users to determine the number of shark bites that could have been avoided.
As the incidence of shark bites is on the rise worldwide, researchers used the Australian Shark Attack Files curated by Taronga Conservation Society Australia to work on the models of incidents and then projected the shark bites 2066 when the population is believed to reach 49 million.
Professor Corey Brashaw of Flinders University believes that efforts to decrease the risk of shark bites. However, they are scarce, are valuable with electronic deterrents capable of decreasing the likelihood of a bite by approximately 60%, likely saving hundreds of lives over the upcoming 50 years.
“Avoiding death, injury, and trauma from shark bites over the next half-century would be a realistic outcome if people use these personal electronic deterrents whenever they’re in the water, and as long as the technology is operating at capacity,” he added.