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Tagged sharks tweet alerts to help warn Australian beachgoers

Tagged sharks swimming off the south west coast of Australia will tweet an alert whenever they come close to a popular swimming area.

A whale shark swimming in Georgia Aquarium.
A whale shark swimming in Georgia Aquarium.
Image: AP Photo/John Bazemore

SHARKS THAT SWIM close to any popular beaches on the south west coast of Australia will tweet their location, warning beachgoers of their presence.

Australia’s Department of Fisheries has installed 19 satellite-linked monitors off the coast of Perth, Bunbury, Meelup and Albany. It has tagged 338 sharks that will tweet alerts whenever they come close to a popular swimming area.

Whenever a tagged shark comes close to a major beach, an alert is sent to the Surf Life Saving WA Twitter account.

These alerts provide details of the shark such as its size, its breed, location and the time it appeared. The alerts will only happen when tagged sharks appear in the monitored areas.

image(Image: SLSWA/Twitter)

The system is to help both improve public safety and as well as research the movements of great white sharks, tiger sharks and whale sharks.

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It’s also one of a number of measures the country has taken to help reduce the number of shark attacks. The Australian government was criticised last month after it pledged to hunt down large sharks that enter popular swimming areas.

Baited drum lines will be placed one kilometre from the shore to attract and catch sharks more than three meters in length. The lines will be in place initially from January to April.

Read: Man killed in shark attack off South African coast >

Read: Man gets in fist-fight with shark… and wins >

About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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