HOW IT WORKS

WHY USE SHARK EYES?

🦈 Sharks have high visual capabilities and rely on their vision when hunting.

🦈 Mimicry is proven to work in nature- Shark Eyes deterrent is mimicking what is already working in nature.

🦈 Shark Eyes is non invasive (Does not harm any human or shark.) Regardless of your political opinion Shark Eyes is for everyone!

🦈 Shark Eyes is affordable-so that it can be accessed by all ocean lovers.

🦈 Shark Eyes can be applied to many different water craft-i.e. surfboards, bodyboards, fins, canoes, wetsuits, diving tanks, swimming apparel and more.

🦈 Shark Eyes does not need recharging and is not at risk of mechanical/electrical breakdown, as long as it is applied it is effective.

🦈 Having Shark Eyes watching out for you when you can’t, is a reassuring comfort.

🦈 Due to a lack in scientific evidence at present, a way forward in minimising shark attacks is to trust the anecdotal evidence derived from professional watermen and women.

Related Science

STUDY CONFIRMS THAT PAINTING EYES ON COW BUTTS HELPS WARD OFF PREDATORSTHERE'S NO SILVER BULLET, BUT "EYE-COW" TECHNIQUE IS ONE AVAILABLE TOOL FOR FARMERS.

Jennifer Ouellette - 8/18/2020, 8:43 PM

Cattle herds in the Okavango delta region in Botswana are plagued by attacks by lions and other predators, prompting farmers to retaliate by killing the predators. An alternative nonlethal technique involves painting eyes on the butts of cattle to trick ambush predators like lions into thinking they've been spotted by their intended prey. It's called the "Eye-Cow Project," and a recent paper published in the journal Communications Biology provides some solid empirical evidence for the practice. There are now practical guides for using the "eye-cow" technique available in both English and Setswana, so farmers can try it out for themselves.

Neil Jordan, a conservation biologist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, came up with the idea several years ago while he was doing field work in Botswana. Local farmers killed a pair of lionesses in retaliation for preying on their herds of cattle, and Jordan wanted to come up with a non-lethal alternative. The African lion population has dropped significantly from more than 100,000 in the 1990s to somewhere between 23,000 and 39,000 in 2016—much of it due to retaliation killings.

Jordan knew that butterfly wings sporting eye-like patterns are known to ward off preying birds and are also found in certain fish, mollusks, amphibians and birds, although such patterns had not been observed in mammals. He also discovered that woodcutters in Indian forests have been known to wear masks on the backs of their heads to discourage any tigers hunting for prey. He had observed a lion stalking an impala and noticed the predator gave up the chase when the prey spotted it. Lions are ambush hunters, Jordan reasoned, and he decided to test his "detection hypothesis" that painting eyes on the butts of cows would discourage predatory behavior from the local lion population.

The Botswana Predator Conservation Trust (BPCT) agreed to work with Jordan on the project, along with a local farmer, for a ten-week pilot study. Jordan and the farmer painted eyes on one-third of a herd of 62 cattle and took a head count when the cattle returned to the fold each night to see how many had survived. Only three cows were killed during that period, none of which had painted eyes on their butts. All the painted cows survived.

Granted, it was a small sample size, but those results were encouraging enough to convince Jordan to conduct a more ambitious study over the last four years. His team worked with local farmers in the Okavango delta region, painting the cattle in 14 herds (a total of 2,061 animals). They used acrylic paint (black and white or yellow), applied with foam stencils in the shapes of the inner and outer "eye." The colors were chosen "because of their highly contrasting and aposematic features, common in natural anti-predator signaling settings," the authors wrote.

Roughly one-third of the cattle in each herd got the eye patterns, one-third got simple cross-marks, and one-third weren't painted at all. The results confirmed Jordan's preliminary findings. Cattle with the painted eyes on their rumps were significantly more likely to survive than those cattle that had crosses painted on their butts and those that weren't painted at all. But the authors were surprised to find that even the painted crosses offered some survival advantage over the unpainted cattle. Over the course of the four-year study, 15 (out of 835) unpainted and four (out of 543) cross-painted cattle were killed by lions; none of the 683 cattle with painted eyes were killed.

“To our knowledge, our research is the first time eyespots have been shown to deter large mammalian predators,” said co-author Cameron Radford, a graduate student at the University of South Wales. “Previous work on mammal responses to eye patterns has generally supported the detection hypothesis. We think this may suggest the presence of an inherent response to eyes that could be exploited to modify behavior in practical situations, such as to prevent human-wildlife conflicts, and reduce criminal activity in humans.”

There are a couple of caveats. First, Jordan acknowledged that there were always unmarked cattle in the herd for their experiments as controls—what he termed "proverbial sacrificial lambs." It's not clear whether applying painted eyes to cow butts would be as effective if all the cows in the herd were painted. He suggests that farmers apply the marks to the most valuable cattle in the herd as the best approach until future research can be done. Second, there is the question of habituation: whether predators will eventually become accustomed to the painted eyes and learn to ignore it as a deterrent.

“Protecting livestock from wild carnivores—and carnivores themselves—is an important and complex issue that likely requires the application of a suite of tools, including practical and social interventions," said Jordan. “The eye-cow technique is one of a number of tools that can prevent carnivore-livestock conflict. No single tool is likely to be a silver bullet. Indeed, we need to do much better than a silver bullet if we are to ensure the successful coexistence of livestock and large carnivores. But we’re hoping this simple, low-cost, non-lethal approach could reduce the costs of coexistence for those farmers bearing the brunt.”

DOI: Communications Biology, 2020. 10.1038/s42003-020-01156-0 (About DOIs).

Sharks are visual predators that predominately use the element of surprise when attacking (Strong,1996), usually attacking from behind and beneath its prey (Tricas and McCosker 1984). Strong(1996) found sharks were initially attracted to their prey with sense of smell but appeared to use vision the closer it approached.

A shark’s vision is well developed and more elaborate than most fishes (Gilbert, 1963), having duplex retinas containing both rod and cone photoreceptors (Gruber & Cohen, 1985) indicating they have high visual capabilities and ability to see colour.

When predating, sharks undertake a risk assessment before attacking its prey (Lima and Dill, 1989; Martin et al., 2005) and it’s at this point where “Shark eyes” is designed to assist watermen.

“Shark Eyes” is intended to signal the approaching predator that it has been detected, effectively saying “I’ve seen you” and thereby altering the shark’s predatory behaviour.

“Shark Eyes” therefore aims to alter the sharks risk assessment and deter the shark from attacking. By taking away the element of surprise, the shark has a reduced chance of successfully capturing its prey. For example, an adult white shark is usually not agile enough to capture a fleeing, darting seal hence it generally attacks its prey by surprise (Tricas and McCosker, 1984). Similarly, Strong (1996) observed in numerous occasions that fur seals and sea lions easily avoided white sharks, suggesting that once the shark was visually detected, the change of capture of the seal prey drop considerably. Once a shark sees the “Shark eyes” and realises it has been detected, it may now be optimal for the shark to abandon its attack.

As described by Martin et al., (2005) the stages of predatory behaviour by a white shark involves a “Gather Info” stage before deciding to “Strike” or “Abort” an attack. It’s at this “Gather Info” stage that “Shark Eyes” aims to influence the sharks risk assessment, altering the shark’s behaviour to “Abort”.

1. Sharks have high visual capabilities.

It is well known that sharks have superior senses. Research of late has discovered that this includes their vision – and they do in fact have high visual capabilities. Sharks have been found to detect surface prey visually (Strong, 1996) having high visual capabilities (Gruber & Cohen, 1985).

Sharks are ambush predators, relying heavily on the element of surprise to capture prey (Strong, 1996). Sharks employ predatory tactics which involve a risk assessment before attacking it’s prey (Lima & Dill, 1989). “Shark Eyes” aims to alter the sharks initial risk assessment thereby altering its “strike” behaviour to an “abort” behaviour (Martin et al., 2005).

Shark Eyes is unlike any of the sharks natural prey and is designed to mimic that of a human eye. Hours of Research has gone into designing a set of eyes that we know sharks can see. Science is unsure as to whether sharks can see colour or not though many scientists believe they can, they do know they can see contrast. Shark Eyes – the design of the eye – achieves depth of field through contrast.

2. Shark Eyes eliminates the predatory element of surprise.

When the element of surprise is gone, sharks often abandon their attack.

Sharks are ambush predators just like lions and Tigers. Like most land apex predators, shark predation relies heavily on the element of surprise. We know and have witnessed sharks change their behaviour and become more cautious once eye contact has been made.

Shark Eyes is designed to mimic human eye contact, making the shark feel like it has been spotted, taking away their element of surprise. This has the potential to change the behaviour of the shark and prevent an attack.

3. Mimicry / Eyespots

Shark Eyes is simply copying what nature is already doing.

Mimicry / Eyespots are scientifically proven as a successful defence mechanism seen often in nature. Land and water animals are known to adapt to mimic large false eyes mostly on their rears to fend off predators. Mimicry is seen in birds, butterflies, moths, cats, caterpillars, fish and more.

Humans have successfully used mimicry as a line of defence in India. Face masks were applied to the back of the locals heads to protect them from tigers. It reduced the amount of attacks.

Sharks are visual predators that predominately use the element of surprise when attacking (Strong,1996), usually attacking from behind and beneath its prey (Tricas and McCosker 1984). Strong(1996) found sharks were initially attracted to their prey with sense of smell but appeared to use vision the closer it approached.

A shark’s vision is well developed and more elaborate than most fishes (Gilbert, 1963), having duplex retinas containing both rod and cone photoreceptors (Gruber & Cohen, 1985) indicating they have high visual capabilities and ability to see colour.

When predating, sharks undertake a risk assessment before attacking its prey (Lima and Dill, 1989; Martin et al., 2005) and it’s at this point where “Shark eyes” is designed to assist watermen.

“Shark Eyes” is intended to signal the approaching predator that it has been detected, effectively saying “I’ve seen you” and thereby altering the shark’s predatory behaviour. 

“Shark Eyes” therefore aims to alter the sharks risk assessment and deter the shark from attacking. By taking away the element of surprise, the shark has a reduced chance of successfully capturing its prey. For example, an adult white shark is usually not agile enough to capture a fleeing, darting seal hence it generally attacks its prey by surprise (Tricas and McCosker, 1984). Similarly, Strong (1996) observed in numerous occasions that fur seals and sea lions easily avoided white sharks, suggesting that once the shark was visually detected, the change of capture of the seal prey drop considerably. Once a shark sees the “Shark eyes” and realises it has been detected, it may now be optimal for the shark to abandon its attack.

As described by Martin et al., (2005) the stages of predatory behaviour by a white shark involves a “Gather Info” stage before deciding to “Strike” or “Abort” an attack. It’s at this “Gather Info” stage that “Shark Eyes” aims to influence the sharks risk assessment, altering the shark’s behaviour to “Abort”.

Blest, A.D. (1957) The function of eyespot patterns in the lepidoptera. Behaviour, 11, 209 – 256.
Gilbert, P.W. (1963) The visual apparatus. In: Sharks and survival. P.W Gilbert, ed. D.C. Heath and Co., Boston, pp. 283 – 326.
Lima, S.L., Dill, L.M. (1990) Behavioural decisions made under the risk of predation: a review asn prospectus. Can. J. Zool 68:619 – 640
Strong, W.R. (1996) Shape Discrimination and Visual Predatory Tactics in White Sharks. In: Klimley, A.P. & Ainley, D. (Eds.) Great White Sharks. The biology of Carcharodon carcharias : 229 – 240.
Tricas, T.C. and McCosker, J.E. (1984) Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences series 4 1984 43:221-238
Vallin, A., Jakobsson, S. Wicklund, C. (2005) Prey survival by predator intimidation: an experimental study of peacock butterfly defense against blue tits. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 272, 1203 – 1207.

FAQ

Yes. Shark Eyes shark deterrent decals/stickers are visible looking up from the depths. If you approach from underneath with the sun directly behind the object on the surface, then there is a silhouette. When the angle of the sun is not directly behind an object, you can still see the Shark Eyes shark deterrent decals. As divers we have seen this many times as we head toward the surface looking up from a dive.

Nature has evolved into the use of eyespots/biomimicry, and it is well documented means of defence. 

Man previously has used “fake eyes” to protect himself or livestock against attack. Please look at this relevant study regarding the efficiency of eyespots when used as protection from attack.

Some apex predators are highly reliant on the element of surprise to attack.

Eyespots have the potential to take away the element of surprise from an attack.

See study link: Research

1: We shaped Shark Eyes shark deterrent to be unlike other sea creatures eyes. This was in an attempt to create even more doubt in the shark as to its understanding of what is watching it.

2 : Many humans have seen the sharks behaviour change in the water when eye contact is made, we have seen it first hand with our literal eyes. Therefore with anecdotal evidence, it made sense to use “human” styled eyes.

The science is divided regarding whether or not some sharks see in colour. It is more about the contrast and depth of field of the design. Blue is the last colour to drop out of the water column, hence the choice of blue for the “eyes”.

Shark Eyes believes that a shark will rarely abort an attack once it has made up its mind to progress into attack mode. We feel the best means of defence is to make the shark decide itself that the attack is no longer viable and abort the attack.

By taking away the “element of surprise” from a shark, we feel this may hinder the shark moving from its risk assessment stage into attack mode.

Many animals in nature use eyespots as a defence mechanism, biomimicry/eyespots. SHARK EYES shark deterrent is replicating natures defence. 

Man has proven “eyespots” to have merit as a defence mechanism.

Please have a look at this study below.

Read more

We believe there is merit to using Shark Eyes in all conditions.

Sharks generally not bite into something without a visual inspection first. Unless frenzied, Sharks are generally cautious by nature and will want to inspect prey from multiple angles before a decision to attack is made. Even in dirty water this is the case. So a shark may get closer in dirty water before seeing the Shark Eyes comparatively than clear water, but the effect should be the same.

Shark Eyes shark deterrent testing programme is ongoing. We are currently discussing further testing with fisheries NSW and hope to have some results released in the future. For now we feel the anecdotal evidence behind “eyespots” is strong enough to give the Shark Eyes shark deterrent method merit.

No. 

Our thoughts are with him.

The person that got attacked in Crescent Head was riding a Outer Island surfboard. The Outer Island logo is a set of "eyes". That logo was on the top of the surfboard from the photo's we saw of the attacked board and right up at the nose. In that position may not even be in the water alot of the time. The Outer Island logo ontop of a surfboard would not be seen from anything underwater.

That surfer to my knowledge was not running any Shark Eyes product under his board or any where.

There is a chance that someday, someone will be attacked using Shark Eyes on there equipment. Hopefully it does not come across in our advertising that this is a bullet proof solution to shark attack. There is enough anecdotal evidence in nature and existing science around eyespots to give merit to Shark Eyes being an easy option to minimise risk.

REVIEWS

Based on 233 reviews
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Warm, thin, stretchy, comfortable and flexible. Ok for winter Vicco.

T
Shark Eyes Socks/ Booties
Terence O'reilly
Booties

They are more like a sock,really warm and easy to put on,I am able to feel my board a lot more as well.No rock hopping in them tho.Thanks a good product in my view,I’m 67,they keep me in the water longer thru winter.👍

Quality products

I love this mask strap in fact I'm going to order another for my other mask 😁

great 4/4 wetsuit

This has to be the best winter cold water wetsuit I've had, so light, warm, flexible and comes with a hood!

Women’s rashy

I love the rashy, it was very comfortable to wear and swim in and I recommended your product to all my swimmer friends

Thermal Rashie

Absolutely love love love this rashie. I live in Victoria and don’t personally choose not to wear a wetsuit. So this rashie has provided me with the warmth I needed for a 13-14 degree VIC winter surf. It also stopped the wind chill when I was trekking back to the car. For me it was perfect! It will definitely be my go to from now on.

most comfy bootys ive worn, great feel of your board

South Africa

Worn under a 3/2 wetsuit provided plenty of warmth in the winter months in JBay.
Helpful service and quick delivery

Booties

Waiting for a size undersmall to be designed,have been made aware that they are in the process,the booties I purchased are excellent will report on the durability of the soles,my only concern otherwise a great product,will keep me in the colder water a lot longer,thanks shark eyes

High quality rashie. Perfect for sea kayaking on Port Phillip Bay in the winter. Prompt delivery. Thanks 🙏

Not tried it yet but from loves the wettie

Rashvest

If unsure, order a size down not up.

Love it!

Stoked

Couldn’t be happier with the service I received, the product was great (large shark eyes sticker) stuck to my board really well & looks good. Thanks to the crew at shark eyes. 🤙

Got it looks amazing everything that was advertised was true to advert will get more

Thanks guys

Warm in the winter water!

I’m kind of stunned at how well this works. I have no patience for getting in and out of a wetsuit, so I bought this to wear when swimming with my local bluetits group through winter and it’s brilliant. As a size 16, I went with the men’s XL and it fits well.

Magnetic Island Review

I still have all my bits from some sharky dives recently, but then again, I had them before shark eyes. Great concept working from natures cues. Have to say they did take quite a while to get to me. Thanks. Cheers Pete

replacement decal

Thank you for replacing the shark eyes decal, I really appreciate your prompt service, notwithstanding now being able to cover up where the missing sticker left a faded mark on my board, great aftermarket service, thank you !

Hybrid Suit, Thermal Rashee, Boots and Gloves

I recently bought a heap of gear of Shannon, he was super helpful and knows his gear and what its used for really well. The Hybrid suit is by far the best suit ive ever had, feels great, fits well, easy to get on and off, and most importantly, super flexible and really warm, stoked to have an awesome suit to surf and fish in, really well made and great all round. i also purchased the Thermal rash and boots and gloves, the boots are ridiculously good, cant even feel the water. All the gear is unreal. Will be back for a 2/2 summer suit in a few months. Highly recommend Shark Eyes.

Absolute winner

This is the 6 th hood I have bought. 4 have been for family and friends over the years now. Everyone has been blown away with how awesome and warm they are. And leaving you to feel free in the water. Keep up the great work

So Comfortable!

Hey thanks SharkEyes! I ordered the 3mm winter top entry. Was a good price too. I was dubious if it would keep me warm in winter Vicco. But the salesperson said 3mm would be ok. So when it arrived in a package I thought no way could this be a winter wetsuit! The package was too small! So I decided to have a surf. Outside T 12 water T 14. OMG it felt like a 2 mm spring steamer and I was fine. So smooth buttery and flexible and warm with no rashy underneath ! I travel to northern hemisphere in autumn so it is so compact will be going with me. 👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

Shark Eyes Mens Thermal Rashvest?

Nice and warm. Good fit. Really happy. Great service with friendly helpful emails. Thank you

Vest

Warm and cuddly, very happy

Still has not been delivered.