Do Metal Detectors Attract Sharks?

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Cory Haasnoot

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When you think of boats, you don’t always think of metal detectors. But there are many boats equipped
with a tow-behind metal detector that can help to find some exciting things beneath the surface. Think
about all the different things that have fallen into bodies of water over time that are made of metal. Not
to mention shipwrecks, which can be quite an exciting discovery. But some boating enthusiasts who use
metal detectors are wary of the devices attracting sharks with the currents they emit while in use.

Luckily, metal detectors do not attract sharks. Quite the contrary, they serve to repel the sharks with
their currents. So, if your metal detector is running and makes a discovery, sharks will flee the metal
detector’s current once they sense it.

You heard that right; you get to search for cool things throughout the ocean and not have a fear that
your metal detector will attract sharks in the process. Marine metal detectors can be used for a variety
of different reasons as well, like searching for pipelines and dredge heads. But if you are a marine
enthusiast and just love getting out there to make discoveries, a good metal detector can truly make
that happen while doubling as shark repellant.

Sharks and Marine Metal Detectors

A school of sharks.

This can be a tricky subject as there is always going to be some conflicting intel if you look hard enough.
Some may say that metal detectors do indeed attract sharks, while others will claim that they repel
them. From what we have discovered, actual marine metal detectors will repel the sharks. And that is
precisely what you should be using for underwater metal detecting in the first place. Because it is true
that certain current frequencies can attract sharks, while others will serve to drive them away.

The most common devices used are called “boat towed metal detectors.†These devices are
manufactured specifically for boats and can be fitted specially for your own vessel. With a powerful
metal detector such as these, the signal that is emitted from the boat can stretch for over a mile and
drive away any predators. The problem that causes sharks to become a threat is hunger and blood.

Sharks have a keen sense of smell, and a single drop of blood in the water can bring them out if they’re
hungry. Being out on the water and searching for metal objects beneath the surface generates an
environment where you may end up going in the water (with the right equipment, of course). So, always
be sure you have your bases covered, which involves ensuring you’re not bleeding anywhere from your
body. With the right metal detector, there can be an added layer of safety that can help to drive away
any sharks that may be lurking in the water.

Also bear in mind that more New Yorkers bite people every year than do sharks. Crazy right? In 2019
there were 64 shark attacks that were recorded as unprovoked. Compared to the 7 billion people that
are on this planet, that is a finite amount. Now, that does not mean that it can’t happen, because
clearly, it does sometimes. Proper safety and care will always be a key element before getting into the
ocean; having a proper game plan in place with the right organization is going to help the cause.

If you’re going to go underwater metal detecting then you will want to check out the Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II. This metal detector is used by professional as well as novice underwater treasure seekers. If you are serious about metal detecting under the waves do yourself a favor and pick one of these serious metal detectors! The Garrett Sea Hunter Mark II is available on Amazon!

Types of Aquatic Metal Detectors

The types of boat towed metal detectors can be broken down into two groups, metal detector, and
magnetometer. The decision that presents itself in regard to the type you will want has everything to do

with what you’re hoping to find on your search. We will cover both types so that you get an idea of what
you may be looking for, and give details about each one to help your decision.

Metal Detectors

Metal detectors are going to be the more common option that is used, at least for personal use, if you’re
out searching for goodies on your own. With a metal detector, you will have a device that is used for
nonferrous metals. You’ll be able to search for gold, silver, lead, brass, bronze, aluminum, and more.
There is no telling what you can find and where you will find it out on the ocean, but nonferrous metals
can be valuable, and a metal detector will give you the best opportunity to find them.

Any aquatic metal detector will include at least one internal coil that emits the current while searching
for metal objects. But some up the ante by providing multiple coils. One of the more effective metal
detectors on the market is called the Pulse 12 by J.W. Fishers. This detector includes three interior coils
to give a further strengthened signal to get better results. The more coils, the better chance of finding
something great.

Boat towed metal detectors are for true enthusiasts and also the people who may need them for
their occupation. They are certainly not the cheapest item out there, but what boating experience is? If
you’re in the market for a good detector, it is worth it to spend the money on one that comes from a reliable
manufacturer like J.W. Fishers. They’re a company that has made a name for themselves within the
market, so you know their metal detectors will give you what you want.


The differences between magnetometers and metal detectors are simple; they detect ferrous metals
while providing a stronger current for finding them. The signal that comes from a magnetometer will be
stronger than that of a boat towed metal detector, but it will also only find ferrous metals such as iron
and steel. But having a stronger signal that finds magnetic metals can lead to other discoveries as well.
The possibilities are still endless, even with a magnetometer.

A magnetometer will still also give off a similar frequency as metal detectors, which will still help to keep
the waters safe should you choose to dive in. J. W. Fisher again makes an excellent option for
commercial purposes and the professional shipwreck hunters of the world. Having a much larger search
area provides an opportunity to reach a maximum range of 1,500 feet. It also helps to find smaller
targets as well and can detect pipelines, chains, canons, anchors, and a lot more.

The current with magnetometers is so strong that the medium between the detector and whatever the
metal target maybe is left uninhibited. A lot of discoveries are made through video and sonar, which are
also effective. But for the potential discoveries that may not be visible through those mediums, a
magnetometer is the game-changer. The reason being is those objects cannot be detected traditionally
with video and sonar. But a magnetometer with a strong signal can help to make those discoveries.


Even if sharks were present in the water, the usual experience is that they leave people alone. Unless
they are provoked, which may not be the smartest move in the first place. We also touched on the
importance of absolutely ensuring no blood gets into the water.

The right metal detector or magnetometer will help to elevate the safety aspect and drive the sharks away before you get into the deep waters of the ocean. Because if you’re an enthusiast on your search for your next great find
beneath the surface, you know the importance of playing it safe. Find yourself an excellent detector and
head out on your next excursion to find something great in the deep waters of the ocean.

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Author: Cory Haasnoot

Cory Haasnoot is an author, entrepreneur, metal detecting enthusiast, antique, coin collector, and founder of Treasure Seekr.

2 thoughts on “Do Metal Detectors Attract Sharks?”

    • Sharks are more attracted to a continuous hum or vibrations in the water. Sharks pick up on these vibrations believing that there is dying prey close by which they go after. Since the Vibra-Tector doesn’t have a continuous vibration I don’t think that it will attract sharks. Thanks for the question, Francisco! I hope this helps.


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