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“Tricking” sharks with anti-shark attack suits

July 23rd, 2014 / By: / What's New?

The SAMS Warning™ pattern is designed to present the wearer as unlike any shark prey, or even a dangerous food option. Photo: SAMS
The SAMS Warning™ pattern is designed to present the wearer as unlike any shark prey, or even a dangerous food option. Photo: SAMS

Shark attack mitigation systems (SAMS), working with shark scientists at the University of Western Australia, has created two wetsuits that reduce the chance of attack. Scientists took note of the distinctive vivid coloration of many fish species—including the striped pilot fish, which lives alongside predatory sharks—and designed a suit that apparently makes the wearer difficult to see.

The SAMS Cryptic™ suit uses disruptive coloration and shaping—from the perspective of a predatory shark—which makes it difficult for the shark to see the wearer in the water column. The contrasting colors, combined with the shape and size ratio of the patterns, ensures optimal effect at various depths and distances, so while a shark may locate its prey through a number of different means, it is less likely to attack if the target cannot be clearly seen.

While it’s true that sharks have very good eyesight, they see colors and shapes quite differently from the way humans perceive them. Basically, sharks see in black and white, but their perception of shading is very acute and impacted by the reflective spectrum in the water (how bands of color react to light). SAMS Warningtechnology is designed to overtly present the wearer as unlike any shark prey, or even as an unpalatable or dangerous food option. At the very least this will provide the user with increased protection, but it could also provide the time needed to evacuate the area if a shark is in range.

sharkmitigation.com

The SAMS Cryptic™ wetsuit uses disruptive coloration and shaping to make it difficult for the shark to see the wearer in the water. Photo: SAMS
The SAMS Cryptic™ wetsuit uses disruptive coloration and shaping to make it difficult for the shark to see the wearer in the water. Photo: SAMS