Cape Cod surf shops cannot keep shark deterrents in stock after a massive spike in shark attacks over the past two Summers of Blood. Or maybe it was two summers ago and last summer was ok because Covid-19 restrictions kept everyone out of the water.
In any case, shark deterrents are a hotter game than ever because if there’s one thing VALs love, it is summer surfing.
Olaf Valli, owner of Wellfleet’s Sickday surf shop, told The Boston Herald, “People want to get back in the water. And people living on the Cape and visiting the Cape have decided that spending $500 on a system to decrease the risk of an interaction with a shark is well worth it.”
Local Orleans resident, and SUP pilot, Marc Angelillo added, “Much more people have been wearing these over the last few years. It’s been growing exponentially. Whether it’s 40% or 60% or 80% effective at reducing the chances of being bitten, it’s better than no percent.”
The spike in sales rides a recent study from Australia’s Flinders University that electronic deterrents could save 1,063 people from getting bitten by sharks across that by 2066 and could avert more than 3,000 “incidents” across Australia over the next four-plus decades.
That seems extremely arbitrary but the lead author of the study, Professor Corey Bradshaw, doubled down saying, “We found that thousands of people would potentially not get bitten, and several hundred people would not die. None of these devices will prevent a shark from biting you, but it reduces the probability. It’s like dumping hot sauce on the prey, so it makes the shark think twice about biting it.”
Do sharks not like hot sauce?
I think that is a leap Professor Bradshaw should not be comfortable in making.
I like hot sauce and imagine hot sauce would compliment the soft, quivering VAL flesh very nicely.
The only real question is which sort of hot sauce? Some peppery Cajun fire? A flavorful Mexican dash? Vietnamese bang bang boogie?