Studies on Physical and Chemical Factors Influencing Shark Behavior.
Final rept. 1 Jul 64-30 Jun 71,
MOTE MARINE LAB SARASOTA FLA
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The primary objectives of the study were to broaden the scientific base necessary for a better understanding of factors associated with shark attack and to develop new approaches to effective means for controlling predaceous shark activity. Elements of shark attack were studied by presenting to captive sharks large rats in varying degrees of distress. Kinetics of responses by sharks to waterborne drugs were examined in terms of requirements for producing deterrent levels of pharmacological effects, and these data were used in a systems analysis which demonstrated mathematically the impracticability of incapacitating an attacking shark by exposure to waterborne drugs. Large sharks were found to be immediately immobilized by internal application of relatively low voltages, thus demonstrating the feasibility of a self-contained electric dart as an effective anti-shark weapon. Intensive study of the delicate hydrostatic balance maintained by large sharks through regulated accumulation of liver oil led to the proposal of utilizing gas injection as an anti-shark measure. This principle has since been used in the design of CO2-darts as weapons for use by divers. Author