Great white shark tour operators seeking creative ways to lure the predators to their boats, or to divers in cages, are increasingly turning to loud music played underwater, and an operator in South Australia maintains that he has found the perfect band: AC/DC.
Like other operators, Matt Waller of Adventure Bay Charters began experimenting with music as a means of attracting sharks without using chummed fish parts, which is increasingly controversial.
In a press release Waller invited guests to bring their own CDs to "see if the Great White has similar taste in rock-and-roll, pop or hip-hop. Any genre is welcome, if the sharks don’t like it, we will put AC/DC back on, which to date is their favorite!"
Several Australian newspapers have picked up the story, quick to make note of Waller's observation that one of the songs most likely to attract great whites is "If You Want Blood." Another is "Shook Me All Night Long." One can't help but wonder how the sharks feel about "Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution."
Waller explained to Adelaide Now that it's a specific range of frequency, not the titles or lyrics, that attracts sharks from long distances. He added that AC/DC's high-decibel, low-frequency music seems perfect for the task.
"We know the AC/DC music works best by trial-and-error, and we are doing more research to see what works best with different species of sharks," Waller told the newspaper. "Quite often we can see the sharks on the surface, but most of the time our guests want to get in the cage and see them up close.
"I've seen the sharks rub their faces on the cage where the sound is coming from as if to feel it."
While playing music underwater to attract sharks is becoming increasingly popular at dive sites, not everyone favors the practice.
Said Patric Douglas, CEO of the Shark Diver and a longtime tour operator: "Call me a purist, but would we do the same thing in Alaska with bear encounters?"
-- Image of great white shark is courtesy of Michael Patrick O'Neill / Adventure Bay Charters