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Great White Shark RFID/Satellite Tracking Shows Long Journeys, Many Beach Visits

Soulskill posted 1 year,21 days | from the we're-gonna-need-a-bigger-boat dept.

Shark 86

Lucas123 writes "Marine biologists from OCEARCH, a non-profit shark research project, have been tagging scores of great whites and other shark species with an array of wireless technologies, gathering granular data on the sharks over the past year or more. For example, Mary Lee, a great white shark that's the same weight and nearly the same length as a Buick, was tagged off of Cape Cod and has made beach visits up and down the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda. She came so close to beaches that the research team alerted local authorities. The team attaches an array of acoustic and satellite tags as well as accelerometers to the sharks, which collect more than 100 data points every second — 8.5 million data points per day. The data has provided a detailed, three-dimensional view of the shark's behavior, which the team has been sharing in real time on its website. OCEARCH plans to expand that data sharing over the next few weeks to social networks and classrooms."

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Um, how much is someone paid to tag 'em? (1)

sandbagger (654585) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699275)

Just curious.

I'm not looking for a sideline as I don't know how to swim; or at least, there is no evidence that I know how to swim.

Re:Um, how much is someone paid to tag 'em? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699357)

...I don't know how to swim

You're hired! When can you start??

How are the "DSP" datas PROCESSED? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44700315)

Analog Devices has an expanding portfolio of Embedded Processors, DSPs and Analog Microcontrollers for a wide variety of general-purpose and application-specific needs.

Blackfin, SHARC, SigmaDSP, TigerSHARC, ADSP-21xx and Precision Analog Microcontrollers a broad range of functions including high speed, multi-DSP signal processing, converged signal/control processing, fixed-function processing and microcontroller applications.

The SHARC® Processor family dominates the floating-point DSP market with exceptional core and memory performance and outstanding I/O throughput. For as little as 319 MFLOPS/dollar, SHARC brings floating-point processing performance to applications where dynamic range is key.

Thusly, SHARC data is actually procured by Analog Devices product in a straightforward fashion and then is sent to the satellites in orbits over earth. Locations are found frequently near beaches and such.

Re:How are the "DSP" datas PROCESSED? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44700733)

Too high power for your application. Remember the environment and how this is powered. I'd recommend a low-power ASIC. Email me at if you need to consult.

Re:How are the "DSP" datas PROCESSED? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | 1 year,21 days | (#44700909)

Next time make the puns less spammy. It reads like a real spam!

scif channel can use extras in a B movie (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699433)

scif channel can use extras in a B movie with sharks.

Re:scif channel can use extras in a B movie (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699497)

scif channel can use extras in a B movie with sharks.

And if the plot is so stupid that it's actually stupid enough, they'll make it in 3D [wikipedia.org] .

Re:scif channel can use extras in a B movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699577)

Not sure if anything will come close to beating Sharknado (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2724064/)...

Sharkageddon?

Re:scif channel can use extras in a B movie (1)

Provocateur (133110) | 1 year,21 days | (#44700121)

Don't worry, they've promised Sharknado 2

Re:Um, how much is someone paid to tag 'em? (1)

rubycodez (864176) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699517)

perfect, you can help bring them for tagging, by trying desperately to swim

unforeseen consequences (1)

CdBee (742846) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699575)

I guess that Shark Psychology is not a subject thats been studied much due to the intractability of the subjects and difficulty of objectively assessing their actions. Is it at all possible, however, that either by electromagnetic or psychological effects the tagging of a shark changes its behaviour? It strikes me that all the data discussed in the article is info about sharks that have been tagged by people.

Re:Um, how much is someone paid to tag 'em? (1)

chuckinator (2409512) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699545)

Depends. How well can you write a research grant proposal?

Frickin' RFID?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699311)

You mean that I actually have frickin' sharks with frickin' RFIDs on their heads??

Won't be long... (1)

sycodon (149926) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699341)

...before they start doing this to us!

+1 for Paranoia.

Re:Won't be long... (1)

nschubach (922175) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699371)

They're perfecting the system before putting the implants in at birth. ;)

Re:Won't be long... (4, Funny)

internerdj (1319281) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699449)

Bah. Who needs implants when we have your net traffic. Sincerely, the National Shark Association

FROM MY COLD DEAD CLAWS (1)

Thud457 (234763) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699663)

Double the funny, because the name makes you think their mandate is to preserve the right to bear sharks. Right to bare sharks?

Re:FROM MY COLD DEAD CLAWS (1)

sycodon (149926) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699857)

Is that like ManBearPig?

Re:FROM MY COLD DEAD CLAWS (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | 1 year,21 days | (#44702571)

Just plain sharks though, cause the Founding Fathers didn't think about mutherfsckin sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads.

With that much tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699383)

When will they start mounting lasers?!

Re:With that much tech (1)

Shark (78448) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699947)

... yesterday.

Good Job for OCEARCH (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699387)

The name is pretty stupid, but the research is cool. Shows what electronics can do these days.

I like the public interaction, too: classroom interaction and such can make people interested, and make them more willing to contribute money to research. It's a win-win.

Also good that they warned people on beaches. I'm not sure if it's bordering on hysteria, but they probably know what they're doing.

Disclaimer: I've chatted with one of the researchers connected to this project on IRC from time to time, and posted on their forums once or twice. I have no other connection to them, and make no financial gain from these statements. I was fucked in the ass by a shark yesterday.

Re:Good Job for OCEARCH (-1, Flamebait)

CdBee (742846) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699603)

"I was fucked in the ass by a shark yesterday"

Nobody's ever said that before

It's fun... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699403)

it's a nice web site for shark fisherman :D

Obligatory (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699407)

http://xkcd.com/585/

Re:Obligatory (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699483)

It's like a precursor to Sharkando.....

Obligatorily....

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699821)

These days there's no need for that. The tag pops out and when it comes to the surface it transmits data via satellite. Or, at least, that's how they're tagging tuna in the Pacific Ocean.

Re: Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44701127)

Oh. ..I thought Subway(tm) was trying to tag me when I ate that tuna melt the other day.

\/\/0\/\/ (1)

ExFCER (1001188) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699411)

I want to say something witty funny or insightful but this is just cool.

Cross your fingers (0)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699437)

How long before the Federal Government mandates such granular tracking on vehicles, guns, kitchen knives, and people?

Re:Cross your fingers (1)

spacefight (577141) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699631)

People? Under what rock have you been hiding for the last 10 years or so? It's called a cellphone, nowadays it's even worse with a smartphone, always on, any app can query the wifis nearby or even the GPS...

Re:Cross your fingers (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | 1 year,21 days | (#44700103)

The rock next to my cabin in the mountains which is 60 miles from the nearest wireless transmission tower.

FYI

Re:Cross your fingers (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44703901)

and all animals and insects and plants

"Many Beach Visits" (2)

CCarrot (1562079) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699447)

It's like convention goers at Vegas cruising the all-you-can-eat buffets..."I don't like the quality of mammals at this beach, honey, they taste too gamey. How about we try that cozy little cove over there instead?"

Re:"Many Beach Visits" (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | 1 year,21 days | (#44701149)

Of COURSE they're visiting the beach over and over - they're trying to track down the damn humans that put tracking tags in their dorsal fins!

This shark (1)

geekoid (135745) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699491)

swallow you whole.

what., you didn't think I would go with the bigger boat quote, did you?

Thank god!! (1)

Kahlandad (1999936) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699525)

Think of all the disasters that the research team averted by alerting authorities that a shark was close to the shore! It would have been a blood bath for sure!

Re:Thank god!! (1)

breeze95 (880714) | 1 year,21 days | (#44701551)

Think of all the disasters that the research team averted by alerting authorities that a shark was close to the shore! It would have been a blood bath for sure!

You think that is the only Great White shark that is patrolling the East Coast? You think that they have tagged all the Great White sharks that patrols the East Coast? I'm sure many untagged Great White sharks came close to beaches along the East Coast that authorities and beach goers are unaware of.

Re:Thank god!! (1)

giarcgood (857371) | 1 year,21 days | (#44704309)

You think that is the only Great White shark that is patrolling the East Coast?

I looked at it and thought "Cool, the East Coast (of Australia) is safe. There are no Great Whites at all." Then I thought like you, maybe they dont have them all.

Re:Thank god!! (1)

Kahlandad (1999936) | 1 year,20 days | (#44708173)

Wait... you mean this isn't the only shark in the ocean? Someone should tell the researchers!

Only way to be sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699529)

(Marine biologists Hudson, Ripley, Hicks and Vasquez at a remote outpost)

Hudson: We have movement. Signal's clean. Range, 20 meters.
Ripley: They've found a way in, something we've missed.
Hicks: We didn't miss anything.
Hudson: 17 meters.
Ripley: [Checking the tracker] Something under the floor, not in the plans, I don't know.
Hudson: 15 meters.
Hicks: Definitely inside the barricades.
Newt: Let's go.
Hudson: 12 meters.
Ripley: That's right outside the door. Hicks, Vasquez get back.
Hudson: Man, this is a big fuckin' signal.
Hicks: How are we doing Vasquez, talk to me?
Vasquez: Almost there.
[They welded the door shut, and stepped back away from the door]
Vasquez: There right on us.
Hicks: [Waiting for the Aliens] Remember, short controlled bursts.
Hudson: 9 meters. 7. 6.
Ripley: That can't be; that's inside the room.
Hudson: It's reading right man, look!
Hicks: Then you're not reading *it* right.
Hudson: 5 meters, man. 4. What the hell?

Amazing (2)

Scutter (18425) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699547)

I think it's amazing how far-ranging the sharks are. It's interesting that it swims in a wide circle that includes Bermuda. How did it navigate to the island? How did it find its way back to the mainland? I would have expected a much more meandering course, but it's almost like it made a bee-line for it and then another bee-line back to the coast, but in the opposite direction.

Re:Amazing (4, Funny)

umafuckit (2980809) | 1 year,21 days | (#44700325)

It's interesting that it swims in a wide circle that includes Bermuda. How did it navigate to the island?

It uses GPS. Didn't you read TFA?

Re:Amazing (1)

Tukz (664339) | 1 year,21 days | (#44704375)

Please highlight the passage where it says sharks navigate by GPS...

Re:Amazing (2)

umafuckit (2980809) | 1 year,21 days | (#44705407)

(Score:4, Funny)

Re:Amazing (1)

Tukz (664339) | 1 year,21 days | (#44706941)

Well, it wasn't funny when I replied.
I see my mistake, it IS funny.

Ha ha.

Re:Amazing (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | 1 year,21 days | (#44700421)

How did it navigate to the island?

I'm not a marine biologist (nor am I Art Vandelay), but I assume it would have to do with their incredibly good sense of smell. If they can 'smell' traces of blood I'm sure they can smell Bermuda.

Site is ... (1)

ovidus naso (20325) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699553)

sharkdotted

Re:Site is ... (2)

ithinkurokayiguess (3033399) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699763)

Hi Ovidius, Sysadmin here for http://sharks-ocearch.verite.com./ [sharks-oce...verite.com] I'm so sorry for the congestion. I've brought some extra capacity online just for you, and the site is becoming responsive again. If you could just let me know how many friends you'll be bringing to site that would be great ;)

Re:Site is ... (1)

ovidus naso (20325) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699989)

Cool site. Thanks about the extra capacity and sorry about the traffic. You run a LAMP stack on Debian Squeeze at Rackspace from what i see. Anything special in your setup?

Re:Site is ... (1)

ithinkurokayiguess (3033399) | 1 year,21 days | (#44700153)

Oh, just the usual duct tape and toasters :) This is definitely a site that's gotten way more popularity and attention that we ever anticipated. Thanks again for stopping by!

Stayed away from New Jersey... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699571)

...according to the map, probably not a bad idea (for a bunch of reasons).

plus 5, Tro/ll) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699609)

ar3 about 7000/5 Propaganda and

Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699651)

So, I searched a bit around the interwebz for the hardware specs and couldnt find anything.
What sensors are they using specifically. What kind of GPS location services? I mean, its not exactly cheap to send a signal into space from a fin... Gotta have service in the middle of the ocean.
What kind of energy suppy? Something rechargable from water flow? Who build the gizzmo?
Whats with the accoustic ping thingy? Where are the recievers? How many are there? Who maintains them?

Re:Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699881)

Ah, found a bunch of it by RTFA

Sysadmin here for sharks-ocearch.verite.com! (5, Informative)

ithinkurokayiguess (3033399) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699667)

I love you guys. I'm spinning up extra capacity for sharks-ocearch.verite.com as we speak. So sorry for the slowness. Thanks for stopping by!

Re:Sysadmin here for sharks-ocearch.verite.com! (1)

GLHMarmot (124846) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699739)

Well done, sysadmin! Three minutes ago, nothing. Now a nice quick page! What did you do to increase capacity? Were you already on a cluster or did you increase a VMs memory or CPU?

Re:Sysadmin here for sharks-ocearch.verite.com! (5, Informative)

ithinkurokayiguess (3033399) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699885)

The site is currently running in Rackspace's datacenter in Chicago. The beautiful thing about the cloud is if there's more traffic than usual you can just spin up more server instances. Not to say the site is designed for any kind of scale, but fortunately the site data is fairly static, so I can fake scalability with some ugly rsyncs :)

Re:Sysadmin here for sharks-ocearch.verite.com! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699773)

You guys should set up a shark alert system where if the location of someone's cell phone is within 5 miles of a tagged shark, then it would go off.

And if the donations and fees go towards tracking more sharks, then all the better.

Re:Sysadmin here for sharks-ocearch.verite.com! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699953)

You should be able to sponsor a shark like "Save the Children. And definitely have ads on TV asking for sponsors. ;)
And shark rally racing. Pick your shark and if it travels farthest in a specified time window, you win. Hmmm, that could be legit enough you could register it with the state as parimutuel betting.

Re:Sysadmin here for sharks-ocearch.verite.com! (2)

Whorhay (1319089) | 1 year,21 days | (#44700139)

I love it! I want to do this. How about having a jackpot that you can claim if your shark eats someone?

Re:Sysadmin here for sharks-ocearch.verite.com! (2)

ithinkurokayiguess (3033399) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699979)

I've been looking for an excuse to use http://www.twilio.com/ [twilio.com] for a while now. How about instead of text messages I have twilio call you and tell you about the shark situation in its creepy robot text-to-speech voice?

Wow: Mossel Bay (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | 1 year,21 days | (#44705771)

Most of those locations [verite.com] appear to be near the shore, only if you define "near" as "within a few miles".

However, I did notice rather a lot of dots clustered around Mossel Bay, South Africa [wikipedia.org] , including one that was so close that I could still see it on the map when zoomed in close enough to see individual houses. Yikes!

I think the explanation is probably the Seal Preserve there. Seals are known to be the Great White's favorite food. After seeing that, if it were me, I'd consider avoiding any beach that has seals nearby.

Fix Your Site (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44705879)

How about fixing your site?

It looks like every shark is labeled as Carcharodon carcharias(Great White), but many of these are described as bull Sharks, Makos, etc. Faulty data. If you can't even get the type of shark right I don't trust ANY of your other data.

On of the sharks shows as being tagged in Cape Cod, but the comments say that it was tagged in Jacksonville FL and that you are "working" to get that corrected. How much work does it take? You could have fixed the location field just as easily as writing a comment to explain it.

The site looks really good and these guys are doing some interesting stuff, but blatantly inaccurate data makes me write the site off as a useless toy.

Enjoy your short lived page views.

Shark Wranglers (1)

bmimatt (1021295) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699771)

These guys were in a documentary series "Shark Wranglers", shown a while back on cable.  They were hand tagging sharks on a platform, after hooking them on line with a large hunk of smelly fish on the hook.  Cool dudes doing pretty cool work.

Size? (1)

JeanCroix (99825) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699799)

"Buick" is a little vague... are we talking a 1975 Electra, or a 2012 Verano?

Re:Size? (1)

joh (27088) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699891)

16 feet.

Re:Size? (1)

geekoid (135745) | 1 year,21 days | (#44700245)

5 meters.

RFID? (2)

tippe (1136385) | 1 year,21 days | (#44699873)

As is Radio-Fish Identification? Now that's just cool.

PS: Before you tear me to pieces (ha, ha, ha, I kill me...), sharks are indeed considered fish, or so the internets tells me.

RFID underwater? Not likely. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44699919)

Other tags include an RFID implant whose ping is picked up whenever the shark passes a special, underwater buoy

As usual, science journalist make up stuff. There's nothing on the ocearch.org about RFID, because these ID tags don't use RF. They are acoustic tags. The popup dorsal fin transmitter uses RF, but only when it's above the water. Radio waves do not penetrate salt water far enough to be of any use.

Alerted local authorities? (2)

Shompol (1690084) | 1 year,21 days | (#44700113)

There is one dangrously close to Cape Cod beaches right now! [verite.com] Quick, call the authorities! Please disregard the fact that 99.99% of sharks is not tagged and there is a number of them near beaches at all times.

Re:Alerted local authorities? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44703341)

They tagged a lot of sharks, including bull sharks which are reckoned to be quite dangerous, in Australia recently. They tracked the sharks to just about everywhere, including the ones that swam UNDER a triathlon swimming event with hundreds of swimmers in Sydney Harbour on the Australia Day national holiday. The take away is, the sharks are always there. You might not see them, but they can sniff you.

smart shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44700409)

avoided the jersey shore by a good distance

Buick? WTF's a Buick? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44700807)

I don't know what size a Buick is having never seen one, being from 'the rest of the world'. Can we have a metric equivalent? Elephants, Panda, London Bus, Eiffel Tower, anchovy, red kidney bean, Austin Ambassador (British Leyland Princess, Y reg). Thanks

Re:Buick? WTF's a Buick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44701819)

How many football fields is that??

Re:Buick? WTF's a Buick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44701891)

I don't know what size a Buick is having never seen one, being from 'the rest of the world'. Can we have a metric equivalent? Elephants, Panda, London Bus, Eiffel Tower, anchovy, red kidney bean, Austin Ambassador (British Leyland Princess, Y reg).

Well, being an American car, it's a fair bit bigger than your Ambassador; I'd say somewhere between an elephant and a London bus.

Re:Buick? WTF's a Buick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44703927)

I just taged one yesterday. I can tell you, Buicks are big. They can grow to 6 meters in lenght and weight as much as 2500kg. They are very powerful and they eat all kinds of other cars for breakfest. They are beatiful.

Well, ok i'm talking about the time of before the last ice age. Now days buicks are pretty much like the rest of the cars. Back then there was something in the air that made them grow that big and bad. Unfortunately regulations and idiots in the habitat have forced the Buicks to change to what you see today. Buick is an endagered species and just a few years ago Buicks were about to become extinct. Thankfully the good people at GM started a breeding program and that allows our children and grand children to see live Buicks in their natural habitats.

fa1lzors?! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44700821)

what we've 4nown be a lot slower Sales and so on, there are

as a guy who surfs in California (2)

bob.lansdorp (2954263) | 1 year,21 days | (#44701023)

I'm glad they don't have the great whites tagged here

Re:as a guy who surfs in California (1)

GonzoPhysicist (1231558) | 1 year,20 days | (#44709109)

We do, check out Barbara Blocks's work. I set up an acoustic receiver for them in Monterey and we just got our first hit last week.

Obligatory XKCD (1)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | 1 year,21 days | (#44701759)

Outreach [xkcd.com] .

(I'm stunned nobody has posted this link before me.)

oblig (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44702029)

http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/quotes-from-the-movie-jaws-in-which-shark-is-replaced-by-jimmy-page

If you are going to put RFID on Sharks (1)

msaroff (468853) | 1 year,21 days | (#44703499)

You should add frikkin lasers as well.

Not Japanese (1)

Pendletoncils (2834733) | 1 year,21 days | (#44703855)

They should do this with whales as well, this would greatly improve the quality of Japanese whale 'research'!

They're gonna need a bigger boat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44704267)

They're gonna need a bigger boat...

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