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|Shark Repellent Being Tested Near Bimini [AP Wire]|
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|Posted by:||Aug 6th 2004, 01:09:38 pm|
|Fig Tree News Team||August 05, 2004
Shark Repellent Being Tested Near Bimini
If proven effective, the repellent one day might protect divers, surfers and swimmers.
Excited by the scent of blood, a dozen sharks dart about in a frenzy as a researcher dips a pole in the sea and squirts out a clear, yellowish substance. Within seconds, the sharks jerk their snouts away and vanish. Researchers say they finally have found a potent repellent to drive away sharks, after testing off Bimini island in the Bahamas. It's a goal that's eluded scientists for decades.
If proven effective, the repellent one day might protect divers, surfers and swimmers. But researchers say that would require much more study. First they hope it can protect sharks -- in decline worldwide due to overfishing -- by reducing the numbers caught needlessly by long-line commercial fishers.
"You introduce this chemical and they all leave," said lead researcher Eric Stroud, a 30-year-old chemical engineer from Oak Ridge, N.J. "It works very, very well."
The repellent, called A-2 because it was the second recipe tried, is derived from extracts of dead sharks that Stroud gathered at New Jersey fish markets and piers. Fishers and scientists have long noted sharks stay away if they smell a dead shark.
"We have something that really works, but research remains," said Samuel Gruber, a University of Miami marine biologist and shark expert.
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