For many years I have studied the reactions of different species of sharks to the color, contrasts and composition of dive gear. Into the late 90s, I was building, testing and demonstrating suits primarily in open ocean areas.
More recently while working on reef and other inshore environments, the shiny or bright steel appeared in some instances to attract some sharks during testing and feeding scenarios. In these cases it may have been more difficult for the sharks to distinguish between divers wearing shiny suits and the often light-colored scraps of fish that were used as bait to attract and manipulate the sharks into feeding behavior.
Within our rapidly growing global shark diving industry, most observation and shark feeding facilities operate in relatively shallow water, or on the bottom within established areas and protocols, to provide as safe as possible an experience for their guests and professional feeders.
It became obvious that in those environments and conditions, with some species, a low key appearance with fewer or no bright shiny parts was less attractive to the sharks, which may consequently provide safer interactions for both sharks and divers.
– Jeremiah Sullivan