Say hello to the newest members of the Twitter family – 338 sharks off the coast of Western Australia. These sharks are, in a manner of speaking, going to tweet their location out when they come dangerously close to a beach, thereby alerting surfers and swimmers on the shore
Government researchers in Australia managed to tag 338 sharks with acoustic transmitters that tweet a warning out on the Surf Life Saving WA Twitter profile when they get too close to a beach. The tweet goes on to note the shark’s breed, size and approximate location.
Hey, what's a retweet? (Image credit: Getty Images)
The project comes on the back of the fact that Australia has seen more fatal shark attacks in the last two years than any other country. With this move, the authorities hope people will be able to make a more responsible decision about whether or not to venture into the waters knowing that a possibly dangerous shark could be close by.
Chris Peck, from SLSWA, told Sky News in an interview that having sharks tweet their own locations out was far faster than traditional methods of people over the radio or in the newspapers. When a shark is around a kilometre’s distance of the beach, a tweet gets triggered. “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. 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,” he said.
Follow your favourite shark on Twitter
The state's Department of Fisheries has gone ahead and installed 320 receivers on the seabed to monitor the movements of these sharks. The acoustic tags on them have a lifespan of about 10 years, so you need not worry about the Twitter feed dying suddenly. According to reports, the trigger tweet is sent out within two minutes of the receiver sniffing the sharks’ presence. Hopefully, this will help authorities avoid any more shark related attacks now.
Publish date: January 3, 2014 4:25 pm| Modified date: January 3, 2014 4:25 pm