Australian sharks take to Twitter to warn surfers and swimmers of their presence

By Scott Kaufman
Saturday, December 28, 2013 17:26 EDT
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"Stock Photo: Great White Shark Off The South African Coast" on Shutterstock: http://tinyurl.com/oqzevv4
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Australian scientists have outfitted almost 400 sharks with transmitters that send automatic warnings, via Twitter, to Surf Life Saving Western Australia’s (SLSWA) Twitter feed.

For example, this morning, when a shark ventured into the waters between Floreat and City Beach in the western Australian city of Perth, subscribers to SLSWA’s Twitter feed received the following the message:

The tweet provides the size and breed of the shark, if known, and its approximate location. It is hoped that the feed, which has over 15,000 subscribers, will help swimmers and surfers make more informed decisions about when to venture into the waters.

“You might not have got some of that information until the following day in which case the hazard has long gone and the information might not be relevant,” said SLSWA spokesman Chris Peck. “Now it’s instant information and really people don’t have an excuse to say we’re not getting the information, it’s about whether you are searching for it and finding it.”

Western Australia is now the world’s deadliest region for shark attacks, and allowing sharks to announce themselves via Twitter is a more ecologically friendly method of preventing attacks than allowing professional fishermen to cull the shark population.

["Great White Shark Off The South African Coast" on Shutterstock]

Scott Kaufman
Scott Kaufman
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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