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  Anti-shark device helps swimmers bite back
Updated 27 March 2002, 18.19
The nifty anti-shark gadget
Terrifying shark attacks could be a thing of the past because of a new electronic device that acts as a shark shield.

It's taken Australian electronics experts six years to develop the nifty gadget.

  Click here for the fishy quiz!

It's the size of a mobile phone, so small enough to fit on the wrist or ankle of swimmers or divers.

Sound waves

Fact File
Sharks
350 species of shark
3 species attack humans
More people die from bee stings
Swim at 2.5 km per hour
They have very good eyesight
Shark fossils date from 300 million years ago

It works by surrounding the swimmer with a special electrical field which only sharks can sense through their snouts.

If a shark goes anywhere near a swimmer, the field causes the animal pain so it swims away from it.

But it's not all bad news for the sharks. Larger devices could be used on beaches too.

Dolphins are often caught in shark nets
Shark net

This means there would be no need for the nets which are put up to keep them out of swimming areas.

Often they, as well as dolphins and turtles, get tangled in nets and die.

Hopefully the new gadget will save hundreds from a gruesome death.

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