Thursday, March 30, 2006

Shark repellent gets attention from the USA

SALES of an Australian-made electronic shark repellent are expected to take off this year with its full-scale launch in the United States.SeaChange Technology, which is seeking up to $5 million in expansion capital, is preparing for a worldwide launch of its $600 surfboard-mounted device in June.

The Adelaide-based company also has beefed up its executive with the appointment of former Mitsubishi Australia boss Tom Phillips and University of South Australia chancellor David Klingberg.

Newly appointed managing director Steven Copley says SeaChange sales in Australia have peaked at an average 360 a month in the past three months due to an apparent increase in shark attacks.

"Demand is strong in Western Australia, after a SeaChange SharkShield reportedly deterred a 3.3m great white from attacking a scuba diver off Perth," Mr Copley said yesterday.

"However, shark attacks in California and Florida are by far more prevalent than the rest of the world put together."

A central and North American distributor for SeaChange devices was in the throes of being signed -- with interest from related water sports as well as the boating, fishing industries and even the US military.

Chairman Rod Hartley said a marketing manager and chief financial officer were being sought to add to the core team of six.

"Our priority is to launch our new surfboard-mounted product by mid-year once we have successfully raised between $3 million and $5 million," Mr Hartley said.

"We expect to reach break-even by the end of this (calendar) year."

Any major increase in sales would probably result in a shift of manufacturing from founding investor, Clipsal-Gerard Corp, to another South Australian electronics company, he said.

Mr Copley said the company would consider a share market float within two years, depending on the success of the global sales push.


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