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Shark attacks: A magnetic solution? by Ari Daniel Shapiro May 14,2012   |  Source: BBC

An American chemist says he's found a substance - several, in fact - that can repel some of the most fearsome predators in the ocean. He wants to use his discovery to protect them, and us.

Eric Stroud stands on a pier on the island of North Bimini in the Bahamas. He looks down into the turquoise water.

A couple of eagle rays and barracudas swim by.

"The current is ripping through here right now," he says. "The tide is going out. So any scent that's put here goes right to the outside of the channel, and that's where the big sharks are right now."

Stroud is setting up an experiment. He unwraps 20lbs (9kgs) of frozen sardines, drops them into a mesh bag tied to the pier, and tosses the bag into the water. He's hoping to attract a large bull shark.

"It's a fairly dangerous shark," he explains. "It can be aggressive, especially when provoked or cornered."

If a bull shark does turn up, he'll throw a large baited hook into the water. But it's not your typical fishhook. In fact, if all goes well, this hook won't catch any sharks.

For more than a decade, Stroud has been working to develop shark repellents.

He used to work as a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry. Then, in the summer of 2001, he and his wife went on a cruise to Bermuda.

"We hit bad weather,

 

© BBC © 2012

Theme(s): Fisheries Resources.

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