Capstone Title

The Feasability of an Effective Defense Against Shark Attack

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

First Advisor



The shark invokes an immediate and uncomfortable response among humans. It is probably the most universally recognized creature in the sea because the shark is “A huge, primitive carnivorous force whose diet occasionally includes people.” (Boyer 1984). “Shark attack is unique among human experiences” (Baldridge 1974). The thought of being consumed, alive, by an animal in this case a shark conjures up a primal fear. Development of an effective, portable shark defense would greatly reduce this fear in those exposed to shark attack. The fear of shark attack is rooted in our lack of knowledge regarding shark physiology and behavior. Science cannot predict how a shark will react when it is near humans. This lack of predictability is a part of what makes sharks so frightening. The objective of this paper is two-fold: 1) to provide an insight into shark sensory systems as they relate to predation 2) to describe the variety of defenses developed to prevent shark attack.

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