Australia Develops Technology to Prevent Shark Attacks

November 24, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. incidence / ˈɪn sɪ dəns / (n.) – the occurrence of something that is not wanted
Example:  There is a lower incidence of shark attacks this year.

2. injury / ˈɪn dʒə ri / (n.) – harm or damage to the body
Example:  The surfer suffered from a minor injury.

3. habitat / ˈhæb ɪˌtæt / (n.) – a place where a living thing lives and grows
Example: The ocean is the natural habitat of sharks.

4. improve / ɪmˈpruv / (v.) – to make something better
Example: The country’s tourism improved when shark attacks stopped.

5. capture / ˈkæp tʃər / (v.) – to take something using force
Example:  The men captured a huge shark.


Read the text below.
Australia will be testing new anti-shark technology following a series of shark attacks this year.

The technology is said to include electrical barriers and will be powered by wave energy. Australia ranks as one of the countries to have the highest incidence of shark attacks. In eastern Australia alone, 13 cases of shark-related injuries have been reported this year.

Experts say that there are a number of reasons for the rise in shark attacks. While the number of sharks has not increased, the number of people who do activities in the ocean has risen. These activities, such as swimming, snorkeling, and surfing, are all situated within the natural habitat of sharks.

Economics also plays a factor in shark attacks. In the United States, the number of shark attacks was lower in 2009 during the recession, compared to those from 2013 and 2014. During the recession, majority of Americans were too busy working to spend time in the ocean. There were 29 unprovoked shark attacks reported that year. When the economy improved in 2013 and 2014, people started enjoying the ocean again and the number of attacks rose to 47 and 52, respectively.

With the rise in attacks, the demand for shark-deterring devices also increased. This kind of technology consists of personal devices that may be worn by surfers and swimmers, and electrical barriers that are run by wave energy. Shark detection methods are also being planned out. These include a smart drumline, a type of trap that makes use of hooks to capture sharks but will not kill them, and a sonar technology device that uses sound waves to monitor the presence of sharks.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with the development of anti-shark technology? Why or why not?
·         What do you think would be good alternatives to these devices? Why?

Discussion B

·         What would you do if you were attacked by a shark?
·         What other things in the ocean are people afraid of? Why are they scared of them?

November 24, 2015