SYDNEY, July 19 (Xinhua) -- A research team is exploring ways to prevent sharks from being accidentally killed in commercial fishing operations off Western Australia (WA).
The study, led by the University of Western Australia, is trying to understand sharks' nervous system better, to develop ways to repel them from fishing gear.
Professor Shaun Collin said on Monday the research aims to keep sharks away from fishing equipment.
"Using metals that react with the sea water and create an electric field which disturbs the electro-receptive systems of the sharks themselves.
"If this can be incorporated into different fishing gear, there 's a good chance that unneeded sharks can be repelled."
Collin said understanding sharks' brain activity could play a crucial role in protecting the species.
"All this information is partly useful for understanding why sharks exist where they are, also ultimately to reduce any negative interaction they might have with humans.
"They're such important apex predators within the ecosystems off Western Australia in particular." The research will be carried out off the WA coast, including areas in the South West and further north in Ningaloo.