Shanan Worrall is the a true Australian waterman. He was born in 1978 in Esperance Western Australia, to a family of keen surfers. At just 6 years of age, he started surfing, spearfishing and fishing. By 17, he started work as an Abalone diver/deck hand. And after 20+ years, he’s had more wild shark encounters than 99.9% of the population. Shanan continues to commercially dive for shells, and loves his diving, free diving and big wave surfing. Shanan has been involved in:
- Winner of WSL Tube of the Year Big Wave Awards 2017
- Oakley Big Wave Award nominee and Finalist
- 3 x Esperance Deep Sea Angling competition winner
- Billabong Big Wave Awards finalist 2017
- Specimen Shell Diver
- Abalone diver
- One Ocean International Trainer
- Cray fishing Abrolhos Islands
Shanan loved his work as an Abalone diver, but it sadly came to an end in 2013 after a cascade of events that “spooked him”- all of these events were to do with sharks in Western Australia and left him suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and anxiety related to the ocean, so much so that he struggled to get back in the water for a year and it resulted in him changing his career.
Whilst abalone diving 180km east of Esperance in October 2013, a fellow abalone diver- Greg Pickering (Shark Eyes Ambassador) was attacked by a White Shark and left critically injured. Shanan along with two other colleges administered life saving first aid to him 4 hours from town in a remote location, and rushed him to hospital; luckily he survived and still dives to this day.
That same year Shanan lost a loved one in a fatal attack in Gracetown and personally encountered a few unwanted, unpleasant interactions with large sharks whilst spearfishing and surfing, luckily he saw the sharks and was able to defend himself.
As well as the events of the year 2013 Shanan has other mates who have lost limbs in Shark attacks over the years. Shanan agrees for many Shark attack is not a high possibility to lose sleep over but for Shanan and many other frequent (daily/weekly) water users the threat of Shark attack is a very real thing.
The Humble Beginnings of Shark Eyes
Shark Eyes begun a few years back, when the founder Shanan Worrall and his dive buddy Joe Knight were trying to keep themselves safe in the water as they went about their days work shell diving.
The thought was, “we are utilising all these deterrents but still we are at risk, what else can we do to protect ourselves and our space from an inquisitive shark?”
They knew the naked eye worked at changing a sharks behaviour, (line of sight) they had both stared down sharks before and watched them retreat. But what if the shark saw them before they saw the shark? What if the shark came from behind or the bottom as they most likely would in an attack?
The theory of mimicry came to mind, they had seen fish use mimicry ( large false eyes on their backs) to protect themselves from predators, as well as other various land animals.
And so Shark Eyes was born in the garage that day as they decided to mimic what nature was doing and painted and siliconed large eyes on the back of their wetsuits and water crafts.
They both still use Shark Eyes personally a long with other personal deterrents to this day.
What led to commercialisation of Shark Eyes was Shanans’ realisation that this non invasive, accessible and inexpensive visual shark deterrent could very well save not only his life and the lives of his colleagues and mates, but minimise the risk of attack for so many water users without harming sharks- it is for everyone who enjoys the ocean regardless of ones political views!
Since that day, there has been an increase in shark spottings, encounters, attacks and fatalities across Australia.
Shan Worrall: Early days – utilising an array of deterrents and painting on eyes to keep ourselves safe at work.
Mimicry is seen in fish to defend from larger predators & humans using mimicry to defend against tiger attacks.
Shark Eyes Credibility – Ambassadors and the anecdotal evidence
Do not be fooled – NO SHARK DETERRENT on the market currently is 100% fail safe, and neither is Shark Eyes.
Shark Eyes aims to work at the very initial stage of predation, before you may even be aware that the shark is present. In bad visibility sharks can visually detect their prey 10-15 metres away. This makes Shark Eyes difficult to test in a true and non-baited environment. Shark Eyes has not been scientifically tested. We must rely on nature’s anecdotal evidence, science, and ambassadors – which proves line of sight trickery is effective.
Despite this fact, Shark Eyes is supported by 13 expert ambassadors who live and breathe the ocean. These experts are not all scientists and conducting research though some are, but what they have in common is they are all spending regular time through their work and play in and about the ocean-all know how sharks behave in wild interactions as they are witnessing/observing sharks on a regular basis. These “grass root” professionals are willing to endorse Shark Eyes because they have seen and experienced it to work in nature (mimicry) and with the human eye.(Anecdotal evidence.)
Shark Eyes – Practical Education
Shark Eyes values practical education as being of vital importance in preventing unwanted shark encounters. It is our belief that all testing must be performed in a wild environment, not a baited or invasive forced environment-as it alters the sharks behaviour, therefore resulting in questionable or invalid findings.
With limited accurate research available about sharks, we believes that first and fore mostly a practical and informed approach to the ocean and sharks is the first step to minimising the risk of attack. Shark eyes brings this education to the public in the form of a “Shark Safety Guide”. This knowledge is shared directly from professional watermen and women to you the general public, and if put into practice, alongside with the Shark Eyes deterrent, your risk of attack will be greatly minimised!
By purchasing Shark Eyes you are investing in our cause; of non invasive research and helping us continue our work with personal shark protection and research.