Sharksafe BarrierTM History

Sharksafe BarrierTM History

The concept of the Sharksafe BarrierTM was conceived in 2011 when Mike Rutzen (owner of Shark Diving Unlimited), met marine biologist Dr. Craig O’ Connell (founder of O’ Seas Conservation Foundation).

Mike, during his free diving sessions with white sharks had noticed that sharks did not swim through the local kelp forests, even when pursuing cape fur seals. This inspired the idea for a visual barrier bio-mimicking a forest of kelp, to have the potential to became the first eco-friendly alternative to the conventional shark nets.  Craig, who was exploring the use of electrosensory stimuli, such as permanent magnets, to repel sharks from commercial fishing gear and beach nets, as part of his PhD project, came to South Africa to test his magnets on the white sharks.   The two joined forces and combined their knowledge.

The Sharksafe BarrierTM technology was developed and tested on bull sharks, white sharks, great hammerhead and tiger sharks from 2011 to 2016.  After 5 years of rigorous testing Sharksafe proved to be 100% effective in deterring sharks and the results were published on peer review scientific journals.



Sharksafe BarrierTM  deployed in Gansbaai (South Africa) for full scale testing of its efficacy on white sharks

SharkSafe Barrier Sponsors and Partners


It is our mission for the SharkSafe BarrierTM  to be deployed worldwide in all areas currently facing the threat of shark attacks.  

We hope to see our innovation moving the world into a greener direction.

SharkSafe Barrier Bottom-up Movement

We realized that local governments are very reluctant to invest public funds on new technologies, no matter how tested they are, so we decided to make our mission everyone’s mission.

We realized that this is no longer a work that can be achieved by a handful of passionate scientists and conservationists, and it must become a global plea to stop the unjustifiable cull of marine life by shark nets and drumlines.