Commercial fishing industry to ward off sharks using electrical signalsMarie Donlon | October 21, 2019
In a bid to prevent sharks from becoming bycatch for the commercial fishing industry, fishermen in North Carolina’s Outer Banks will test a new device designed to ward off sharks from commercial fishing vessels.
The device is a transistor encased in a waterproof, 3 in long plastic housing that emits electrical pulses meant to drive away sharks from the baited hooks of commercial fishing vessels. The transistor will attach to the fishing line directly above the baited hook, according to reports.
To test the device, a 3 mile fishing line will run from a commercial fishing vessel in the Outer Banks next summer. Half of the 150 baited hooks along the fishing line will be outfitted with the transistor, while the other half will not. The hope is that the hooks with the accompanying device will be shark free once the expedition completes — an indication that the shark repelling device works.
Each year, 100 million sharks are killed in commercial fishing incidents all over the world, according to statistics from a study that recently published in the journal Marine Policy. As such fishermen are in search of ways to cut down on bycatch, particularly to prevent the unintentional capture of protected species like sea turtles and sharks.
Ocean Guardian of Australia, a maker of other shark deterring technology, will manufacture the device.