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Shark Pod diving protection unit user manual

Date: 1956-1995
Overall: 210 x 150 mm, 38 g
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Ron and Valerie Taylor
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Manual
Object No: 00049456

User Terms

    User Manual for a Shark Pod diving protection unit. The Shark Pod unit was manufactured by Pod Holdings, Natal, South Africa and used by Ron and Valerie Taylor during their underwater filming and photographic expeditions in the 1960s-1980s.
    SignificanceThis Shark Pod user manual comes from the collection of Ron and Valerie Taylor who were household names in Australia in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The Taylors have been honoured both nationally and internationally for their pioneering underwater photography and films and their dedication to marine conservation.
    HistoryIn the late 1980s and early 1990s scientists from the Natal Sharks Board in South Africa discovered an electronic wave-form that deterred sharks, but did not affect any other forms of marine life. The field is projected by two electrodes which create an elliptical field that surrounds the users.

    The electronic field is detected by the shark through its sensory receptors, known as the Ampullae of Lorenzini, which are found on the snouts of many sharks. Once detected by the shark, the electronic field causes mild discomfort and muscular spasms resulting in the shark being deterred from the area.

    Ron and Valerie Taylor worked with the Natal Shark Board and its researchers testing the original prototypes with great success in the late 1980s. However the primary inventor of the unit disagreed with the Shark Board over the commercialisation of his invention and subsequently left the Board taking most of his research with him. Undeterred, after further research, the technology was developed and commercialised into the 'Shark Pod' which was manufactured under license from the Natal Shark Board by a company in South Australia.

    After additional research and development the company changed its name in 1999 to Seachange Technology and in 2002 released a lighter, more powerful unit called the Shark Shield and stopped production of the Shark Pod.

    Because of their original role in the testing of the prototypes the Taylor's were given a number of first generation Shark Pods to test. But ,according to the Taylor's, whilst the first proto type units produced by the Natal Shark Board were extremely powerful and effective, following the loss of the original research material and principle scientist, the commercially available Shark Pod were far less effective and after a series of field trials the Taylor's decided not to use the units.

    Additional Titles

    Collection title: Ron and Valerie Taylor collection

    Web title: Shark Pod diving protection unit user manual

    Assigned title: Shark Pod diving protection unit user manual

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