An Australian research firm Thursday launched what is being touted as the world's first anti-shark wetsuit, using new discoveries about the predators' eyesight to stave off or evade an attack.
Working in conjunction with the University of Western Australia's (UWA) Oceans Institute, entrepreneurs Hamish Jolly and Craig Anderson have developed two lines of wetsuit designed to protect divers and surfers from sharks.
It is the culmination of a two-year research project funded by the Western Australia government following an unprecedented spate of shark attacks in the state which claimed five lives in the year to July 2012.
Sharks are common in Australian waters but deadly attacks have previously been rare, with only one of the average 15 incidents a year typically proving fatal.
Experts say the average number of attacks in the country has increased in line with population growth and the popularity of water sports.
Testing of the designs using dummies and tiger sharks off Australia's west coast has been successful, with the marine predators gliding past SAMS patterns but savaging traditional black wetsuits.
Further testing will be done off southern Australia and South Africa this Southern Hemisphere summer (December-February).
Source: Discovery news.
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