Written on the 13 May 2016 by Jenna Rathbone


INVESTORS scrambled to snap up a piece of marine technology company Shark Mitigation Systems (ASX:SM8) after it made its debut on the Australian Securities Exchange.

The company, which develops non-invasive shark deterrent technology, achieved a closing share price of 23c on its first day of trading, up 15 per cent on the issue price, with 1.9 million shares changing hands.

Shark Mitigation Systems (SMS) says it listed to gain exposure to capital markets.

The company raised $3.5 million via an IPO and will use the funds to commercialise its technology which disrupts sharks' visual perception as well as a near-shore shark detection system that is deployed at local beaches, providing beach safety information.

"We have had a fantastic response from the market, registering strong volumes and a rise in share price," says SMS co-founder Craig Anderson.

"The strong support from investors will help fast-track the commercialisation of our products and exploit the many opportunities in the marine technology sector.

"To our knowledge we are the first shark attack mitigation company to list on any public exchange globally and we are now able to take advantage of this position to create a pipeline of ethical, anti-shark solutions."

In collaboration with the University of Western Australia's Oceans Institute and School of Animal Biology, SMS developed technology enabling the manufacture of marine apparel which can reduce the risk of shark attack, based on the science of shark vision, neurology and behavioural effects.

SMS says breakthrough science in determining what predatory sharks can see at certain depths and distances, and under certain light and water conditions, has been incorporated into neoprene materials and commercial prototype wetsuit designs.

"The key to SAMS (shark attack mitigation systems) technology lies in development of materials having a specific contrast, colour, size and shape according to the position of the wearer in the water column and the distance that a shark is likely to perceive the wearer," says SMS.

The technology also has the potential to extend to marine applications, including skins and stickers for diving air tanks, diving fins, surfboards, kayaks, skis, watercraft, undersea cabling and marine equipment.

SMS is based in Perth and was founded by Hamish Jolly and Anderson and incorporated in 2012.

In addition to the University of Western Australia, the company has developed partnerships with a number of major corporations such as Optus, Google and Arena.

Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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