Western Australia’s Department of Fisheries has introduced a new system that uses Twitter to alert swimmers and surfers to the presence of sharks.
The Shark Monitoring Network uses acoustic tags attached to sharks’ fins and buoyed monitoring devices that pick up signals transmitted by the tags to record the location, size and species of each tagged shark.
The information is then transmitted via satellite to a computer, which posts it on the official Twitter account of Surf Life Saving Western Australia to alert beachgoers.
Western Australia’s government relies heavily on helicopter-based spotters and members of the public to report the presence of sharks. Using the new system, scientists have already been able to tag 338 sharks and track them through 19 satellite-linked monitors at local beaches.