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Shark warnings via Twitter: Real-time shark tweet warns Australia beach goers

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Shark attacks in Australia take the lives of swimmers and surfers each year, but coupling marine technology with Twitter may very well drop the statistic of shark attacks drastically. Sharks tagged with a tiny GPS system will give off a signal when they get too close to the shoreline and this will signal a system that is set up to post a warning to Twitter. The system “generates a tweet in real-time,” according to The Diplomat on Dec. 27.

Three species of sharks, the great white shark, the tiger shark and the bull shark, have been part of a tagging program by scientists in Perth. Other sharks also swim the waters off the Australia shoreline, 160 species in all, but these three sharks pose the most danger to humans. So far more than 320 resident sharks have been tagged for this warning system.

This operation, Surf Life Saving Western Australia (@SLSWA), is a volunteer based program that provides rescue services and safety education around sharks. The program is up and running and it simply entails a swimmer or a surfer to check the program’s Twitter page before venturing into the water. Hopefully if a shark has been sighted in the area a surfer or swimmer is about to enter, they will heed the Twitter warning.

If a shark had been detected in that area, the alert will show what kind of shark it is, the location and time that the shark was detected. The Department of Fisheries in Western Australia sponsors the SLSWA program.

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