These Sharks Use Twitter To Warn Swimmers Of Their Approach

These Sharks Use Twitter To Warn Swimmers Of Their Approach

Hundreds of Australian sharks have been equipped with transmitters that trigger Twitter alerts when they get close to beaches.

If a shark could Tweet, what would it say? Surf Life Saving Western Australia has equipped hundreds of sharks with special transmitters, that can trigger a Twitter alert on the official SLSWA Twitter account when a shark gets too close to a beach. However, shark researcher David Shiffman believes that Tweeting sharks are no substitute for proper shark safety.

"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," SLSWA's Chris Peck said of the system. It works by taking an acoustic transmission from one of the 320 sharks, including some fearsome great whites, whenever a shark is within one kilometer of a beach. Receivers pick up the transmission, translate the information about the shark's breed, size and location, and automatically post it to the Twitter account.

David Shiffman, a shark researcher at the University of Miami, isn't sold on the scheme, saying "This can be a part of an overall effective safety plan, but the same general individual principles to making you safe (swim during the day close to shore with other people) will still be better." He pointed out that outfitting sharks with transmitters can be a relatively expensive proposition, and that if sharks aren't tagged, they can't be detected by the monitoring system.

It's important to note that despite Australia's reputation as a country where every animal is constantly trying to kill you, there have only ever been 892 documented shark attacks (of which only 217 were fatal) in the country's entire history.

So next time you're about to hit the beach, you may want to check your Twitter first.

Source: NBC

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The Taronga Conservation Society Australia, associated with Taronga Zoo in Sydney, lists 702 unprovoked shark attacks since 1791 with 202 fatalities and a further 190 provoked attacks since 1832 with 15 fatalities. This makes for a documented total of 892 attacks with 217 fatalities in a little over 200 years.

Kilt'd:
The Taronga Conservation Society Australia, associated with Taronga Zoo in Sydney, lists 702 unprovoked shark attacks since 1791 with 202 fatalities and a further 190 provoked attacks since 1832 with 15 fatalities. This makes for a documented total of 892 attacks with 217 fatalities in a little over 200 years.

Thank you. This was really helpful

Steven Bogos:

Kilt'd:
The Taronga Conservation Society Australia, associated with Taronga Zoo in Sydney, lists 702 unprovoked shark attacks since 1791 with 202 fatalities and a further 190 provoked attacks since 1832 with 15 fatalities. This makes for a documented total of 892 attacks with 217 fatalities in a little over 200 years.

Thank you. This was really helpful

It's no trouble. Keep up the good work, I read a lot of your articles.

Oh god! Even animals are using social media sites now!? We are doomed!

#Omnomnom

...

Y'know, whenever the whole internet thing of Australian-animals-are-crazy-deadly comes up, I can never decide whether to point out that it's not true or to joke about only having been attacked twice this week.

Would anyone want to see a Terminator remake where Sarah Connor gets stalked by a robotic shark?

Because I would.

shark: immaeatyouman!1!
shark2: watch out! he crazy gon eat cu! lol!

this is great. i always wanted to see how surfboard mass collisions due texting while surfing looked like.

Steven Bogos:
It's important to note that despite Australia's reputation as a country where every animal is constantly trying to kill you, there have only ever been 892 documented shark attacks (of which only 217 were fatal) in the country's entire history.

Technically, the country of Australia has only been around since 1901, up until that point (as far as the shark attack data is concerned), the landmass was occupied by several individual British colonies.

At least a few crazy people are going to use these tweets to actually find the sharks and go diving with them.

Steven Bogos:

Kilt'd:
The Taronga Conservation Society Australia, associated with Taronga Zoo in Sydney, lists 702 unprovoked shark attacks since 1791 with 202 fatalities and a further 190 provoked attacks since 1832 with 15 fatalities. This makes for a documented total of 892 attacks with 217 fatalities in a little over 200 years.

Thank you. This was really helpful

Yes, yes. But just try telling the next shark that attacks you that he is a statistical anomaly and is mucking up the reputation of all sharks. Let's see how well that works.

Steven Bogos:
If a shark could Tweet, what would it say?

"Sry guyz, we have bad eyes and u sometimes look like seals. Plz stop hunting us. #wouldratherhaveaseal"

Clive Howlitzer:
Oh god! Even animals are using social media sites now!? We are doomed!

@human u look liek seal gonna have a bite

Psychobabble:

Yes, yes. But just try telling the next shark that attacks you that he is a statistical anomaly and is mucking up the reputation of all sharks. Let's see how well that works.

I don't know. Saved my life when that meteor tried to hit me.

Zachary Amaranth:

Clive Howlitzer:
Oh god! Even animals are using social media sites now!? We are doomed!

@human u look liek seal gonna have a bite

Psychobabble:

Yes, yes. But just try telling the next shark that attacks you that he is a statistical anomaly and is mucking up the reputation of all sharks. Let's see how well that works.

I don't know. Saved my life when that meteor tried to hit me.

image

Guess you cast Shell and it actually worked? :)

OT: Oh wonderful, now we're gonna have "Don't text and surf" PSA's... lol. Seriously though its an interesting concept, but I'd also like to see it used more on a scientific basis to update our tracking methods for sea life. Would also be interesting to see how much these particular sharks migrate in actuality using near realtime twitter feeds. Look an actual use for twitter beyond seeing what [insert celebrity here] had for lunch.

Zachary Amaranth:

Clive Howlitzer:
Oh god! Even animals are using social media sites now!? We are doomed!

@human u look liek seal gonna have a bite

Psychobabble:

Yes, yes. But just try telling the next shark that attacks you that he is a statistical anomaly and is mucking up the reputation of all sharks. Let's see how well that works.

I don't know. Saved my life when that meteor tried to hit me.

Well I'm not surprised. Meteors get a bad rap. I'm sure they haven't killed all that many swimmers per year, and even then they were usually provoked.

Bleh. You just reminded me of that ghastly meteor disaster film from the 70s. Now I'm going to have to go track down a copy to expunge the memory from my mind.

amaranth_dru:

Guess you cast Shell and it actually worked? :)

That was Meteo. I know how to handle Meteos.

Zachary Amaranth:

amaranth_dru:

Guess you cast Shell and it actually worked? :)

That was Meteo. I know how to handle Meteos.

Touche` sir, I commend you on your resourcefulness. At least it wasn't Ultima ;)

I suppose now that sharks can tweet I should make a Twitter account. Can't be out done, can I?

Alternatively, now if only we could get this system working for a predator that is an actual threat... Like a sexual predator."

"Jeff Johnson is within 1 mile of your preteen daughter"

Huh, it is cool that this system made news. I did some work on it myself, mostly support and some troubleshooting assistance for the researchers and programmers who set it up. It's not just the Twitter feed, certain researchers and fisheries officers get word too, via email and SMS.

The Rogue Wolf:

Steven Bogos:
If a shark could Tweet, what would it say?

"Sry guyz, we have bad eyes and u sometimes look like seals. Plz stop hunting us. #wouldratherhaveaseal"

That is completely accurate. :)

On one hand this is cool, on the other hand I really, really don't like it. Sharks can't help being sharks. Then again if it helps save some sharks I am all for it. I don't really care about the swimmers. It's a horrible way to die but we always forget we are on the food chain.

How long before people (probably tourists) start flooding to beaches where a shark has triggered the tweet just to see if they can catch a glimpse of one.

Davey Woo:
How long before people (probably tourists) start flooding to beaches where a shark has triggered the tweet just to see if they can catch a glimpse of one.

'bout twenty seconds. Forty before the first nimrod decides to go and make fiends with them only to "become one with the sharks" in a very different way than intended.

Shark tweet.

"Stay out of the ocean you dumb fuck."

Is this going to be any help to people who are in the water already as the sharks are tweeting into range?

Zhukov:
#Omnomnom

...

Y'know, whenever the whole internet thing of Australian-animals-are-crazy-deadly comes up, I can never decide whether to point out that it's not true or to joke about only having been attacked twice this week.

Sharks are harmless, although drop bears have knives and have a taste for human flesh.

"Smile you son of a bitch!"

Jawz: "lol just got blwn up by oxygen tank nd ak47 rofl"

Sharkn4do "@Jawz: I wll avnge u!"

Who the hell reads their twitter on beaches? Don't you go there to swim, get a tan relax, forget the world. You can read twitter anywhere you want now days! I am sure someone will put up a 3/4G tower tall enough to cover most of outback also.
But twitter for pete sake...

SinisterGehe:
Who the hell reads their twitter on beaches? Don't you go there to swim, get a tan relax, forget the world. You can read twitter anywhere you want now days! I am sure someone will put up a 3/4G tower tall enough to cover most of outback also.
But twitter for pete sake...

You'd be surprised. My sister doesn't peruse Twitter but I swear she'd have a panic attack if she was away from her phone for more than an hour outside of work.

OT: This is definitely interesting but, as others have said, I wouldn't be surprised if some ninny went to try to swim with one.

Forgive me if I sound a bit dense, but how exactly did they tag these sharks?

However, shark researcher David Shiffman believes that Tweeting sharks are no substitute for proper shark safety.

I am now imagining sharks in high visibility jackets and hard hats reciting the green cross code whenever they travel across fishing vessel routes.

Gnarly.

I had the biggest "WAT" face imaginable when I read the title.. But I don't use twitter.. Oh god I'm doomed.

 

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