• 2022.03.24
  • Shark attacks prevention. How it’s done in Australia.
Several Sydney beaches, including famous Bondi and Bronte, have been closed after a swimmer was killed in an awful shark attack and this is the first such death near city beaches after nearly 60 years.
This has been such a tragedy and a complete shock to our city.
The attack came just days before the scheduled Murray Rose Magic Ocean Swim Event, an annual charity event usually attended by thousands of swimmers at a nearby beach.
The event has been obviously postponed.
But, even though this incident is truly tragic, I want to speak about the prevention that is usually implemented to avoid more of these fatal incidents.
The shark attacks have been reduced greatly in the past two decades and this is thanks to the government which has taken an active role in preventing them.
In recent years, the Australian government has spent millions of AU dollars to implement detectors to follow shark movements, sonars to push sharks away and it has installed eco-friendly nets to prevent sharks from entering the bays where swimmers and surfers are, especially during the summer months.
There are helicopters monitoring the water during the peak seasons and you can even download an app and receive updates on your smartphone regarding shark sightings or even report one yourself.
Furthermore, lifeguards are trained to evacuate the swimming areas and the beaches really fast when they receive a communication of a possible sighting.
It is a complex plan against shark attacks that uses advanced technologies but respects the ecosystem at the same time.
More specifically the sonars have repulsive methods currently using electromagnetic waves that hit the sensors on the shark's snout, an effective technique, but which does not always work as no method is perfect and animals are often unpredictable.
Nevertheless, this strategy is much better than the one which had been implemented by the Australian Government about ten years ago, back then in fact the authorities had decided to cull many sharks using traps and nets and this decision was not welcomed by animal protection associations and by most Australians alike.
We have to remember in fact that sharks are important animals for the ecosystem and there are also few specimens left, all considering.
Experts used to consider completely useless and counterproductive the plan to place hooks with bait that could actually act as an attraction for sharks and they were the ones suggesting the use of large nets to act as a barrier instead.
A friend of mine who is a surfer even told me that an Australian company has created some wetsuits, developed with the help of scientists from the University of Western Australia's Oceans Institute that, using a mix of scientific breakthroughs and observations on shark behaviour, would make you ‘invisible’ to sharks.
The wetsuit that would make you 'invisible' is made and based on the discovery that sharks are colourblind and therefore the wetsuit, being blue and white, would camouflage the diver or surfer in the waves.
The wetsuit has vivid white and dark blue stripes which recall the waves, and which shall repel a potential attack.
Australian surfers have somewhat ‘’coexisted’’ with sharks for decades and, for the most part, sharks are afraid of humans, and they are often naturally ‘’disgusted’ by human presence.
My friend, who is a surfer, has encountered some sharks and told me that these animals are erroneously thought to be predators of humans; they’d rather hunt down seals, not people, and most attacks happen because the sharks mistaken swimmers or surfers for their seal prey.



  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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