Shark Repellent Surf Wax

Australian Neil Campbell has dedicated the past 12 months to developing a pungent surf wax to prevent surfers from smelling “like shark food”.

Getting a grip on shark safety
Photo source: theleadsouthaustralia.com.au

If all goes well you’ll be able to add surf wax to this list. The bars look like a dessert serving of flan but contain a potpourri of scents including eucalyptus, chilli, cloves, cayenne pepper, neem, tea tree oil, citronella, coconut and beeswax, surfersvillage.com reported

He said the idea stemmed from his childhood fear of going into the ocean and being attacked by a shark.

“I used either Tiger Balm or tea tree oil as part of this instinctive private idea that I wouldn’t smell like shark food – that idea appears to have lingered and I’ve made it grow up,” Campbell said.

“I had it in my head when I arrived because the week before I left I had an encounter with a big bronze whaler or a bull shark off Long Reef in Sydney near sunset and I just swore to myself that I’d never be so stupid to be out there without a strategy again. So from the moment I got here I got stuck in to how to make an organic wax and how to make the smell I had in mind come out”, he told theleadsouthaustralia.com.au.

“The essential idea is that you’ll smell different from shark food but more to the point there are a number of combinations of these natural smells and spices that are used as deterrents, specifically for grizzly bears, dogs, leaches, brown snakes and of course mosquitoes and flies,” Campbell said. “It’s not just willy-nilly, all of them have a track record in some way or another.”

Campbell said he hoped to incorporate necromones – putrefied shark tissue extractions that can produce repellent responses in sharks – into the product in the next six months.

“Anecdotal observations have shown that sharks avoid areas containing decomposing shark tissue,” added Dr Charlie Huveneers who leads the Southern Shark Ecology Group research lab at Flinders University and has liaised with Campbell about his product.

“Recent studies have shown that necromones can stop the feeding behaviour of reef sharks suggesting that it has a behavioural effect on sharks,” Huveneers added. No independent scientific studies have yet been carried out to test whether the Chillax Surf Wax deterred or repelled sharks.

Source: surfersvillage.com / theleadsouthaustralia.com.au

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