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Governor denies agreeing electro-magnetic shield to prevent sharks

Experts say the electro-magnetic shield shocks swimmers not sharks

Dalia Farouq, Sunday 2 Jan 2011
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General Abdel Fadeel Sousha, governor of South Sinai, has denied media reports that he has agreed with the owner of an Italian company (Shark Academy) to install an electro-magnetic shield along the Sharm El-Sheikh coastline to protect it from shark attacks.

"He (the company's owner) showed us a video in a meeting in Sharm El-Sheikh on devices used to protect beaches from sharks and made verbal and purely theoretical proposals that didn't persuade me on a personal level.

"I asked him for a practical demonstration in front of a committee of experts so we could be sure the devices work effectively. This still hasn't happened."

Shousha went on to add that "Shark Academy's claim that it has started supplying thirteen hotels in Sharm El-Sheikh is incorrect because it hasn't backed up its claims and we won't allow our coasts to be an experimental field for untested devices and hardware or half-solutions that expose the lives of our guests to risks."

Shousha's scepticism is well founded according to Ziad Basel, chairman of the technical committee of the Chamber of Diving Tourism and Marine Activities.

Basel, explained that the electro-magnetic shield that Shark Academy proposed is not certified by scientists according to criteria applied anywhere in the world.

According to Mary Levine, head of Princeton University's shark research institute and part of the team of experts that looked into reasons for the spate of shark attacks in Sharm El-Sheikh last December, the electro-magnetic shield doesn't work.

The system, she revealed, has already failed to prevent sharks from entering swimming areas in Natal, South Africa. Instead swimmers received a shock as they swam.

Even when the system was developed and produced in a different form by an Australian company under the name Shark Shell, it also failed to protect swimmers from shark attacks.

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