To reduce the incidents of shark attacks on surfers without harming the animal or impeding the surfer by developing a mitigation system that adapts to changing light levels and is effective on all species over multiple locations. It will be operational at all times and functions whether the sharks presence is known or not.
Its time we took safety into our own hands, you know your own surf break. Now you can choose what type and how much protection you need. Board alone, Camouflaged Wetsuit alone, or board and wetsuit and other pattern together.
Our products will give back the freedom to surf without concern as to whether a shark is nearby knowing that the chance of being seen is greatly reduced and the chance of being approached even further.
The Perfect Shark Deterrent must….
We have achieved 9 out of 10 and only need further independent testing. Consent for our product to be tested by reputable Shark Scientists worldwide against any other deterrent method in any location with any shark species will be given without reservation. We have complete faith in our concepts but doubt if any other method would give permission for an independent side by side test.
The patented technology that is proving successful is based on not on a single magic bullet but by a number of factors working together to the avoid random encounters with sharks by not being noticed. If you cant be seen you wont be approached. Simple as that.
It addresses natural hunting behaviours and consideration of the shark's viewpoint rather than outdated ideas shark vision. Adaptive Camouflage replicates what silver fish scales do to hide from predators that has evolved over 300 million years. 95% of mid water fish use adaptive camouflage to hide, the other 5% are trying to find them. As with fish it cannot be static it needs to match the changes in light and water colour instantly. On the surface by eliminating the the silhouette the trigger to strike at a seal shaped object is removed.
Its created by the use of an optically engineered patterned reflective film as an Internal Inlay or External Decal for surfboards or other surface borne craft. The effect will reflect the colour of the surrounding water and remove the outline so there will not be incentive for the shark to investigate closer. It cant be limited by location worldwide, time of day, water colour or light levels.
Our wetsuits are also designed with the shark's view as the starting point and based on their visual capabilities using our contrast gradient pattern. They assist to blend the surfer in with the board and the surface, simulate what is commonly found in the water or have a pattern that sharks choose to avoid. If we can avoid the encounter we avoid the attack. Our best version uses a patented contrast gradient patterning that obscures the edge making the outline harder to determine.
As the materials do not have the same reflective properties as the films there are variations for locations to fit the water as best as possible. They are a Grey with the widest range, Blue for more tropical water and Green for temperate. Further testing using the base Camouflage over laid with a Familiar Object or an Avoided Item is underway. The Blue will be 2 mm Grey 3/2 mm and Green 4/3 mm to match the most likey water colour and temperature range . After 50 years of black its time wetsuits evolved.
Variations the colours patterns are made with high shape return 2 piece Lycra rash guards that can be worn normally or over a thin wetsuit. The DualSkin suits are fully reversible and have slight difference shade or pattern on the inside doubling their usage. This allows for the best match to the water's colour to be selected or changed for a better shade as required.
Over the past 4 years we have performed scientific reviews, conducted pilot programs in confined and open water and carried out experiments with sharks not in manipulated, deep water, captive or contrived situations but off shallow beaches that they naturally occur were an attack could happen. There's no point if its not effective in real world situations
Our research,experiments and in water trials have confirmed to us that:
Shark vision is critical to prey selection
Adaptive camouflage will reduce random encounters
It will not affect the performance of the surfboard or impede the surfer
The product will be effective in all locations, light conditions and water colours
Sharks will not be harmed, become acclimatised or familiar with the effect
We have achieved:
Pilot trials and pre testing began in 2015 and Official scientific studies since November 2016.
Scientific permit for 2016 to 2019 was granted for field work off Port Stephens by NSW DPI (Permit No P16/0114-1.0)
2016-19 field work showed no interest by sharks in the reflective board with bait attached
Wetsuit testing over 21 days with the 3 patterns and a control attracted sharks with no unexpected contact being made
Highly promising examples of sharks veering off the Avoided Item pattern have been recorded on video
Australian Innovation Patent was granted December 2017
Australian Standard Patent No 20162621134 was granted in March 2018 also USA 2018/054990 and South Africa No 2017/07375 other countries to follow
FADER and Sharkview are registered trade marks in Australia
Patent applications for a range of related technologies, including MOE visual evaluation methods, Pattern determining algorithms, Spear fishing applications, Aquaculture and Military usage are in development
Further developments are expected to reach the 99% effectiveness level
We are currently in talks with an Australian university and by late 2022 we hope to be able to announce that this and 2 overseas universities are testing our concept completely independent of any involvement by Sharkview or associated entities, employees and advisers. We know exactly what they will find and have nothing to fear from rigorous investigation of our products. Independent examination is vital as close associations between promoters and scientists limits the values of results and findings obtained.
The initial concept for the wetsuits was to use a reflective materiel and mimic fish scales method exactly. The highest reflective wetsuit materiel available was a titanium coated neoprene which was less reflective in comparison to the boards and offered limited flexibility than other wetsuit materials. A wide variety of shapes, patterns and contrast levels were tested in the pool by our propitiatory MOE technique. Once the best performing balance was obtained the size, contrast and brightness levels were transferred to the final base pattern Soft Grey 7.4 called Fader. The versions were then tested for a Sharks vision and the final best overall performing 2 made up in Lycra body suits for in water testing against previous suits and black controls. This base pattern was the most effective and is a highly viable camouflage for the surface. The shapes, colours, brightness and contrasts work in conjunction to disrupt the outline and the lighter sections form a neutral background on which the prevailing water colour is least effected.
For the past year we have run a Survey Monkey SURF Girl 2020 survey to gain information on the fit, function and how girls wetsuits could be improved. The results were both candid and highly informative. Questions included demographics, shark encounters and other factors with very clear areas in which most even those made by large supposed female orientated brand fail to meet the needs of the user. Our survey showed that 45% of girls don’t fit standard surf wetsuits. Why? Most are designed by men. But also there is more variation in limb to torso proportions than in male shapes. Standard sizes just can fit all. The features that were most important were fit and flexibility with environmental and ethical production also scoring high.We believe we have solutions to most of the issues raised and are working on a completely new direction in design. The first step was to work with a female designer and use the most flexible limestone neoprene then incorporating factors or features from scuba and high performance racing wetsuits into surf styles to cover most if not all the issues. Later we will expand the range for taller shapes in all styles.
Oil based or Limestone Neoprene
The bubbles created in the baking process for limestone are smaller more densely packed and up to 95% stay intact compared the normal petroleum method where their much bigger, loser and between 30-40% are broken. The final product is lighter, warmer, more flexible with better durability and almost impermeable as water can only penetrate the open bubbles. Less water soaked up means it dies quicker and cant get heavy like normal neoprene. The bubbles are formed with nitrogen gas rather which has better insulation properties than air so a 2mm limestone is about as warm as a normal 3mm. The close packed micro structure helps with any damage as a new surface of intact cells are exposed. Environmentally the process is much less harmful and as the wetsuit will last 2 to 3 times longer the overall impact is far less.
The biggest advantage is stretch, flexibility and importantly return. Limestone can stretch 5 times it length (480%- 560%) in any direction without damaging any cells. No cell damage means it will return to shape far better than oil based neoprene can. Add to this our best surface camouflage with our patented contrast gradient method and the choice gets easy.
Research carried out at Port Stephens by CSIRO, UTS and CMA. Our component was the helicopter surveys in which previously undescribed behavior of shallow water hunting was recorded.
Low quality video of experimental testing on a overcast day with poor visibility the board has the Phatom A4.2 decal only appears about 2m away.
The blue contrast gradient pattern on the surface fades away, on the return the splashes from the swimmers are visible for a couple of strokes before the body. with a black wetsuit it would be opposite.
The green underwater is the same on the return the head is the 1st visual feature.