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@Surfers, I’m Hungry :)

Sharks in Western Australia can now tweet their exact locations

| posted on January 13, 2014

As a testament to how much social media has transformed our daily lives, government-funded researchers in Australia recently outfitted more than 300 sharks along the country’s western shorelines with monitoring devices that tweet the tagged sharks’ locations when they come within a half mile of the beach. Yes, sharks just joined Twitter.

Here’s how it works. Under the “Surf Life Saving Western Australia” Twitter account, followers will receive an alert via tweet that one of the tagged sharks has come near the shore. Occasionally, the tweets will list the size and breed of the shark as well. In addition to shark locations, the account also lists hazardous beach and ocean conditions and currently boasts more than 28,000 followers.

In practice, this live reporting allows surfers and beachgoers an opportunity for instant updates on shark locations. “The tagging system alerts beachgoers far quicker than traditional warnings,” Chris Peck, operations manager of Surf Life Saving Western Australia told Sky News. “Now it’s instant information. 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.”

Alerting surfers and beachgoers of the location of the tagged sharks isn’t the only benefit of the program. Additionally, scientists will be using the information gathered to better understand the movement patterns of the creatures in WA. “These detections and WA’s extensive receiver network are contributing to important research to help the Government to better understand the movements of white sharks through WA waters, as well as playing a major public safety role,” said Dr. Rory McAuley of the Department of Fisheries.

Western Australia has garnered a deadly reputation when it comes to shark attacks, with more than six fatal attacks occurring in the last two years. The string of attacks has also lead to the government enacting a controversial culling program, which gives certain fishermen the right to kill sharks larger than 9-feet long if found in designated areas.

While being able to stay up to date on the shark’s locations via Twitter may be a novel idea, it’s wise to remember that only 388 sharks in the area have been tagged.

  • Daniel Salimone
  • dickhaloren

    The only thing that’s more annoying than these pesky sharks are dudes in the lineup checking their twitter feed.

    • in vino veritas

      Well, there is one thing more annoying: some arsewipe surfer telling another how he should behave and how he should live his life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/olin.flowers Olin T Flowers

    how exactly do you check twitter in the lineup? just wondering

  • DGCOVA

    Let them in peace…. we have to know that we are entering in their kingdom…..and we have to assume the risks…..lets surf and not think about them….. as our father did for so long…..

    • Christophe Folio

      Sure that your kingdom will never be the ocean but the front of your screen staring at yout blank face, right ?

  • Collin

    That is amazing! Wow!

  • chane

    Finally.

  • Leeno

    What this article doesn’t mention are the major environmental problems with culling an apex preditor. Sharks are not evil and the ratio of shark attacks vs swimmers and surfers entering the water everyday is tiny. Western Australia went against expert advice from marine biologists and the scientific community. The shark cull includes endangered species. Evidence also shows the reason sharks are coming closer to shore to look for food is related to overfishing, not enough to eat so we’ve forced them to come in. Surfers have a reputation for being avid champions of the marine environment. We need to respect that sharks are a part of that, as said by DGCOVA we are entering their world.

    • Christophe Folio

      Blaaaaa blablablablabla !!! You really speak like the one who never entered in wild waters… Really !