Consumer watchdog warns about 'marketing sharks'

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 7 January 2016

Consumer advocacy group Choice has issued a warning that the only guarantee you will get from shark repellent devices is a massive bite out of your wallet.

There are a number of shark repellents you can buy, ranging from $25 to $749, that promise much better results than the Mick Fanning School of How to Fight Off Scary Toothy Things – or so we are told.

While these devices claim to reduce the risk of a shark attack by interfering with one of the many senses sharks use to detect their prey – either sight, smell, hearing or a special sense that sharks have to detect electromagnetic fields – few have been independently tested to see if their claims hold water,” Choice head of media Tom Godfrey says.

Following a spate of recent shark attacks, Choice reviewed the evidence behind personal shark deterrent devices on the market. The results found only one had been effective "some of the time".

AdNews is willing to wager it was not the Anti-Shark 100 – a US$25 spray with an active ingredient of dead shark tissue.

There’s a danger with personal deterrents that increased perception of safety may lead to the users taking more risks than they normally would,” Godfrey adds.

So if you want to avoid the highly unlikely chance of being attacked, Choice recommends swimming with other people, avoid dirty water and don't take a dip at dawn, dusk or at night.

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