Sunday, 26 December 2010

A series of shark attacks at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh have underlined the threat posed to tourists. Although shark attacks are rare, they can be deadly. Four people were injured in the earlier attacks, and a German tourist was killed when a shark reportedly tore off one of her arms and a leg.

Sharks have a sense that humans do not possess: the ability to detect electric fields, useful for finding prey when other senses are rendered useless. SharkShield, a company based in South Australia, uses this sense against the shark. The idea of protection from shark attacks has been proposed to the Egyptian authorities by an Italian company supplying Shark Shield.

A few days ago in Sharm el-Sheikh, an emergency conference was convened for the safety of tourists in the sea. Tthe conference was attended by the Governor of South Sinai province, local officials, managers from tourism industry and representatives from companies dealing with human safety at sea.

The Egyptians are interested in the electromagnetic shield and the advantage it offers in that it does not interfere the movement of ships and boats, or swimmers, but it protects the area from many species of sharks. The special electromagnetic field, created by Shark Shield, effects only the predators, directing the charge accurately on their face, whereupon the shark just runs away.

Such devices are already used for protection of beaches on the coasts of South Africa and Australia. Shark Shield is also approved by NATO. To begin with, electromagnetic shield will be tested in two bays at Nabq Bay and in the waters of Ras Mohammed National Park.


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