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Proven efficiency

It is a proven fact since 1946 that areas where there is decaying shark meat are free of alive sharks. Laboratory tests have revealed that this process results in exhaling chemical agent - cupric acetate and sulphate. Thus, it was determined that cupric acetate is the very shark repellent.

Sharkiller is the company owned by Grogol, LLC and it is the only owner of a highly effective shark repellent Grogol Aroma, produced and certified in Russia,  based on the compounds such as copper acetate in combination with other ingredients that are mimic a dead shark and drive live sharks away from human beings in the water. 

For years combination of copper acetate was supplied to sailors as a shark repellent. The new Russian technology and researches made by Russian science increases the effectiveness of the one and the results are very successful.

History of using cupric acetate and sulphate

In March 1942, Doctor Henry Field who had just returned from a PR mission and Doctor Harod J. Coolidge started discussing the psychological factor of working with the military men on the shark topic. Doctor Field got interested in this topic after he had had a chance to see with his own eyes the activity of sharks during his flight over the Caribbean Sea and hear the pilots expressing anxiety about the sharks. Doctor Field and Doctor Coolidge prepared a joined memorandum to President Roosevelt on the possibility of developing a shark deterring factor.

Further, there were long discussions between military commanders, which resulted in the decision that the development and implementation of a shark repelling technology would be very useful for the moral state of the survived people and would decrease their anxiety. In June 1942, the Bureau of Aeronautics issued a directive initiating the development of research, which would discover shark deterring factors. In July of the same year, the Bureau of Aeronautics communicated the Committee of Scientific Research, Development and Exploration of the Seas of the Committee of Medical Research for preliminary testing. Having received reports on shark attacks on the shipwrecked, the Vessel Committee expressed intention to develop a device, which would be suitable for use by all the naval forces helping them to repel sharks. And in April 1943, the Vessel Committee launched a project, within which the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) started research on the solution of this task jointly with the Committee of Scientific Research, Development and Exploration of the Seas.

First research woks

The testing started in June 1942 in Woods Hole of the Institution of Oceanography, Massachusetts. Alive sea dogs were taken from the docks of the Institute and put to laboratory reservoirs. From July till September, several series of controlled experiments were carried out using 150 different repellents, including poisonous fishes, ink, poisonous gases, sharp unpleasant odors, and other chemicals. Groups of 3 to 5 sea dogs were watched individually during these tests. Each group had a record card, in which scientists made notes. They recorded the reaction of sharks to bait processed with certain repellent and not processed one. Each test lasted 1 to 2 hours on the average.

The results received in the tests were not satisfactory enough. Various irritant agents and such a repellent as sharp unpleasant odor did not give any effect. Ink clouds only worsened the sharks' vision but not repelled them. As for poisoned meat, it was found out that sharks ate it just like the nonpoisonous one. Of course, they died later on, but poison did not suit as a repellent for protecting people. Only 3 of 150 various repellents gave some certain effect: toxilic acid, cupric acetate, and decaying shark meat. Because of such discouraging results, this project was neglected for some time.

Discovering cupric acetate as a shark repelling material!

The chief researcher and a professional shark catcher Stewart Springer proposed the idea of using decaying shark meat based on his fisherman's experience. Fishermen found out that areas, in which there was decaying shark meat, were free of alive sharks. Researchers of Woods Hole concentrated their efforts on studying the decaying of shark meat as the last resort. During laboratory tests it was discovered that this process resulted in releasing a chemical agent - cupric acetate - which releases acetic acid when dissolved in water. Thus, it was determined that cupric acetate is the very shark repellent. As bluestone and acetic acid turned out to be the most efficient sharks repellents, it was decided to join together ions of copper and ions of acetate. This was a breakthrough, which resulted in deriving cupric acetate as the most efficient shark protective means. First tests of this agent in laboratory reservoirs were promising, so field tests were scheduled.

Field tests

First field tests were carried out in the Gulf of Guayaquil near Ecuador between December 6, 1942 and February 10, 1943 by the Committee of Scientific Research, Development and Exploration of the Seas (CSRDES). During the research, four chemical agents were evaluated: toxilic acid, cupric acetate and extract of decaying shark meat. The test series were carried out in three directions at different depths under consolidated control; shark attacks were recorded in each line during the day. Report No. 5 dated February 28, 1943, which was provided to CSRDES, specifically stated that tests with cupric acetate as a shark repellent had 100% success. Because of the success of cupric acetate, other repellents were considered to have failed tests. Further research was concentrated on the repelling properties of cupric acetate.

Additional research was carried out by the Naval Research Laboratory in cooperation with CSRDES in the Gulf of Mexico near Florida coast between May 1943 and January 1944. During these tests, cupric acetate was approbated at various depths and in various conditions. The tests included various fishers' technologies, baits, and even garbage to handle the behavior of sharks. To simulate the situation, survival vests with the "chemical pie" attached to them were placed between the surface and 12-feet depth. A great variety of sharks, which were noticed during the experiment, showed different results. If the concentration of cupric acetate in the "pie" was low, sharks showed 80% of their activity, and whenever the concentration of cupric acetate was higher, their activity went down to 50%.

Cupric acetate is a colorless substance, therefore, in order to see the dispersion of the agent, they added for the first time a colorant as an experiment during tests in June 1943 near the Florida coast. Supported by the results of research near the Mississippi shore in August 1943, the dark colorant proved to increase the efficiency of the repellent through affecting visual sensing channel of sharks. Dark colorant could be used as a cover-up, allowing some time for escaping (just like squids and octopuses do). Another important factor related to psychological aspect was that the user could see the chemical weapon in action. The Naval Research Laboratory applied for help to chemists who were developing water dissoluble colorants that would be compatible with cupric acetate. After a series of experiments, the dark colorant of nigrosine type was introduced. When dissolved in water, this colorant made water black or dark blue. In the NRL report dated February 25, 1944 and called "First Partial Report on the Use of Chemical Materials as Shark Repellents", the nigrosine colorant was highlighted as an efficient visual stimulus conducive to repelling sharks.

NRL researchers came to the conclusion that in order to achieve the maximum effect it was necessary to produce a mixture of cupric acetate and the colorant. The properties of both materials if joined into one substance could affect several organs of sense at a time, which would certainly improve the efficiency of the repellent. The final mixture consisted of 80% of nigrosine colorant and 20% of cupric acetate. Two series of three tests were scheduled for May 27 and July 3, 1944 in Mayport near the Florida coast. Experimental individual packs were produced for these tests, which consisted of a "chemical pie" in a waterproof container. These tests finally confirmed that this mixture was efficient as a shark repellent.

On July 15, 1944, the Vessel Committee issued preliminary certificate R51S48 (INT) for the "Shark Chaser" (a survival vest with repellent). The individual pack in the vest was filled with 5.5 ounces of the "chemical pie" with the repellent. The "pie" was packed into a cotton bag secured with a vinyl copolymer cover with textile coating. This dimensions of the device were 8 Ѕ x 4 Ѕ x ѕ inches, a cotton band for fastening to inflatable survival vests and a lace with a pin for fastening to vests, which had silk cotton inside, were attached to it. The device functioned the same way as a painting marker. There was a snap on button on the outer side of the envelope containing the repellent. The "chemical pie" at this time had the following ingredients: 76% of colorant, 19% of cupric acetate, and 5% of dissoluble adhesive wax.

The official certification and standardization of Shark Chaser took place on October 1, 1945. Before this date, the device had been considered experimental. In the USA, civil vests with the repellent differed from the military ones with their single-time use and absence of a cotton band.


On September 23, 1944, NRL issued the final report on the usage of chemical materials as shark repellents. Based on the report, the USA became the first country to have bought shark repellents in large quantities. The USA acquired 85,000 pieces of the product under a purchase contract.

In June 1944, the Bureau of Aeronautics purchased 2,500 packs for field testing. Those experimental packs were the same as those used in research works carried out in May and June, they did not have safety pins and the "chemical pie" was placed into a paper bag secured with a waterproof envelope marked "Life Jacket Shark Chaser". In January 1945, the USAF Provisional Wing initiated the purchase of 160,000 vests with Shark Chaser.

Researchers who had participated in the Shark Chaser development project understood that it was impossible to develop a 100% efficient repellent based on the knowledge they had. Therefore, the 67% efficiency of the received material was acknowledged satisfactory. The main attention in surviving when facing a shark was paid to the mental approach and morale, and the agent based on cupric acetate served as a significant bonus for the human in this fight. Finally, the results of the tests carried out in laboratory and field conditions were contradictory to some extent. Further research and corrections of the device depended on its real application on the battleground.

After the war, the design of Shark Chaser was changed. The cotton bands were replaced with nylon ones, yellow initially, and red later on. The shark repellent continued being used by the US military forces even in the eighties.

Some reports of survivors and other documentary publications of those times contain mentions of using chlorous capsules or pills in naval aviation as shark repellents. These documents come from 1942-1944 and they are not just occasional isolated mentions. Therefore this information must be taken into account. However, the research works carried out at Woods Hole of the University of Oceanography proved the inefficiency of chlor as a shark repellent. Besides, it is not clear how and where the idea to use chlor as protection against sharks appeared, and it is needless to say that there are no documents that officially recommended to use this chemical agent.

According to the information contained in the documents, the mentions of using chlor pills were received from battlegrounds. So we only guess how the idea to use chlor pills appeared. Probably, the marine folklore conduced that, or maybe the military men thought like this: chlor is an efficient irritant for a human, so why not trying it to sharks? It is not improbable that it was used just for encouragement (the simple knowing of having at least some weapon against this dangerous predator could improve the chances of survival).

However, the efficiency of the agent based on cupric acetate has shown a real repelling effect to sharks, and this has been repeatedly documented, unlike the story of chlor pills.

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