Twitter is steadily growing its user base. Recently 338 sharks in Western Australia subscribed to the microblogging service. They are now tweeting out where they are.
Australian researchers have tagged 338 sharks with acoustic transmitters that monitor where the animals swim. When a tagged shark is about half a mile away from a beach, it triggers a computer alert, which tweets out a message on the Surf Life Saving Western Australia Twitter feed. The tweet notes the shark’s size, breed and approximate location.
Since 2011, Australia has had more fatal shark attacks than any other country; there have been six over the past two years. The tagging system alerts beachgoers far quicker than traditional warnings, says Chris Peck, operations manager of Surf Life Saving Western Australia. “Now it’s instant information,” he tells Sky News, “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.”
The tags will also be monitored by scientists studying the sharks. Researchers have tagged great whites, whaler sharks and tiger sharks.