Scientists Develop Experimental 'Electric Fence for Sharks'

Underwater magnetic fields have the power to repel sharks because of their electricity-detecting sensory pores.
2:38 | 07/07/15

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Transcript for Scientists Develop Experimental 'Electric Fence for Sharks'
cc1 Test mes We're back with more of our coverage of the discovery channel's shark week. T.j. Holmes showed us Monday how sharks are not designed to attack people. There are fatal encounters, particularly on one island in the Indian ocean. T.j. Looks at ways experts are developing to keep the water safe. Reporter: Just off the coast of Madagascar in the waters of the Indian ocean sits reunion island a paradise known for beaches and surfing once now haunted. 17 shark encounters in the past four years, seven of them fatal. Now we are part of the menu. Reporter: The encounters so ramp apartment they're gaping the title of the place in the world with the most fatalities. Surfing has been banned in certain areas, a measure some are calling for in north Carolina where sharks have bitten eight people in the past three weeks. Until it's too late. Reporter: Marine biologist Dr. Craig o'neil has taken the dangerous dive. He says changes in the environment can lead to an increase in the shark population. What we may see is that these spatial distribution of sharks start overlapping leading to these unfortunate encounters. Reporter: Reunion island beginning to test new ways to protect beachgoers from sharks starting with shark patrol where shark watchers monitor the water and look out for oncoming danger and as soon as a shark is seen -- Reporter: The horn soups and color smoked fills the air signaling for all to evacuate. A new scientific breakthrough where magnets may be the magic solution. O'Connell's findings shows sharks have tiny pores that detect electrical signals emitted by their prey. These organs may also sense magnetic fields giving certain magnets the power to deter the sharks. The bull sharks find the sensation of the magnets so Jeff whelming they quickly turn away. Reporter: Already tested in the Bahamas and South Africa where an artificial magnetic kelp kept the shark as way while allowing all other fish to swim through. What we've seen thus far has been incredibly promising. Reporter: A new development that may change the future allowing surfers and sharks to safely share the ocean waves. For "Good morning America," T.J. Holmes, ABC news, New York. If you like to see more tune in to "Nightline" tonight and shark week airs on the discovery channel through Sunday.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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