Shark-Repellant Fishing Hook Leaves More Sharks To Eat People

Sharks are not the bloodthirsty sea creatures Jaws made them out to be! In fact, it's usually an accident when they bite some dim-witted human being splashing around in the water. So we should minimise unintentional harm towards them, too.

That's where these new shark-repellant SMART hooks come in. Scientists have developed this new type of rig, called the "Selective Magnetic and Repellent-Treated" Hook, which is coated with a special metal that produces a measure of voltage in seawater. The hook's magnetic features interfere with the highly sensitive electrical senses in a shark's nose, causing them to stay away while other species of fish (like tuna, who do not have this electrical sense) still take the bait on the hook's end.

Under a grant from the National Science Foundation, student researchers at the Florida Keys Community College tested these SMART hooks extensively on bonnethead sharks, where results showed a 94 per cent reduction in accidental shark catches with the large-sized hook. [LiveScience via TreeHugger]

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