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Western Australian Sharks Send Tweets To Swimmers

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the check-to-see-if-it's-safe-to-go-back-in-the-water dept.

Twitter 75

Zothecula writes "More shark attacks occur in Western Australia than almost anyplace else on Earth. In order to help protect swimmers and surfers, the state government relies largely on helicopter-based spotters, plus members of the public who report their own sightings. Now, however, the Department of Fisheries has introduced a new system, in which the toothy fishes announce their own presence via Twitter. Known as the Shark Monitoring Network, the system utilizes acoustic tags that are attached to the fins of individual sharks, along with buoyed monitoring devices that pick up the signals transmitted by those tags. When a tagged shark swims within range of one of the monitors, its species, size and location is automatically recorded."

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75 comments

Nomnomnomnom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45853605)

Of course me going to eat human! Me Human Monster... oh nomnomnomnom.

Re:Nomnomnomnom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45854333)

Shark 13928 @SharkU420
o hai wutz up gurl????????????
#coming4u #nibblenibble #fucktagguns #YOLO

Wow... (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about 4 months ago | (#45853615)

...I saw this on ABC News a few hours ago. Their headline, "Sharks send tweets..." was just as inaccurate as this one.

The sharks do nothing buy go about their routine. The system monitoring them sends tweets. The system monitoring them doesn't monitor all sharks, it monitors tagged sharks, so the system cannot be relied upon to notify of all sharks, it can only notify for known sharks whose tags still function.

It's not a bad system, but it's not a sure-fire system either.

Re:Wow... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45853701)

It's unfortunate more people died. Sadly, sharks will be sharks. The system in the OP might sound stupid but so is the response from the Western Australian government. The current strategy is a cull of sharks off the coast (which will go ahead on Jan 10 and April 30).

Both systems are obviously flawed in that only random sharks are tagged/killed. The articles system however can be just as effective (beaches can be closed, people can be warned) without the need to further kill off a protected species. I imagine that the statistics from tracked sharks could be useful in research as well.

It would be nice if they offered a small bounty to fishermen who tag and release as part of the 'shark mitigation' (monitor and cull) package they just announced.

Re:Wow... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45854183)

so is the response from the Western Australian government. The current strategy is a cull of sharks off the coast

The WA government's response is a deliberate distraction, and a sop to the mouthbreathing bogans that voted them in.They're trying to protect the live sheep export industry from scrutiny.

“Every year, thousands of dead sheep are thrown overboard as ships depart Australian ports for the Middle East, either whole or minced, without care or consideration for the consequences of these actions,” said Alexia Wellbelove of Humane Society International. “It is highly likely that the disposal of animal remains in this way will attract large sharks over a wide distance. This attraction of large sharks may have dreadful consequences. HSI is concerned that one of these consequences may be increased incident of shark attacks.”

http://www.hsi.org.au/?catID=1179 [hsi.org.au]

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45854549)

Interesting. Backed up by the facts that the experts say this strategy will have little to no positive effects for beach goers. They instead suggest studying where the sharks are breeding and why they're frequenting the beaches.

I was also wondering what the effect of putting hundreds of baited lines around popular beeches would be. I realise they're really only after the bigger sharks (>3m) but if they purposely attract sharks to the area could they be altering their feeding grounds/habits?

I am not a marine biologist (IANAMB?)... but maybe the government could consider consulting some instead of playing populist politics?

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45854557)

People could also swim and surf between the flags at monitored beaches... you know, the places where people aren't getting eaten by sharks!

Re:Wow... (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 4 months ago | (#45853713)

It sounds pretty stupid.

You will never tag all the sharks, no where even near. This just lends a false sense of security.
Also, who reads tweets in the water at the beach?

It seems to me, given that their are a limited number of beaches, and they are constant and unchanging, you just would put some sort of sonar or drones or something at each one, with loud alarms to warn water goers in the area.

Far far far more practical than tagging each and every shark, and then somehow hoping that every person in Australia buys some sort of underwater twitter reading watch.

Re:Wow... (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 4 months ago | (#45853959)

given that their are a limited number of beaches

You might want to check Google Earth there, mate. WA's coastline is huge, stretching thousands of km.

It's not just city folk from the Perth region that sharks find tasty. The latest fatality, RIP, occurred 6 weeks ago off a coastal community of less than 400 people, in Gracetown, some 269km from the state capital. If it's not cost effective to put sonar on every beach along the coastline then the next small town attack would produce the outcry of "we should have used geotracking".

I'm not saying the current system is foolproof but the expanse of coastline may have made your solution unviable cost-wise.

Re:Wow... (2)

NoMaster (142776) | about 4 months ago | (#45855051)

You might want to check Google Earth there, mate. WA's coastline is huge, stretching thousands of km.

Exactly. Just as a comparison, Western Australia's coastline is roughly as long as the US Pacific coastline - including Hawaii & Alaska - or only about half as long as the entire US coastline

Re:Wow... (1)

Cattrance (1537577) | about 4 months ago | (#45853991)

It seems to me, given that their are a limited number of beaches, and they are constant and unchanging, you just would put some sort of sonar or drones or something at each one, with loud alarms to warn water goers in the area

While it may be impractical to tag every shark out there there is almost as much beach as there is shark, not to mention that by nature beaches are continuously changing. There is a lot of solution-finding going on right now to protect people from sharks without having to kill the sharks. It may work - all you need is one person on the beach with a phone (who doesn't carry a phone with them?) to yell "shark in the water" and bob's your uncle.

While you can't hope to tag every shark, perhaps it is possible to tag those that favour popular beaches?

Drones aren't a bad idea, I suppose the limiting factor is identifying the sharks and having enough people to watch for them (via camera I assume).

Re:Wow... (1)

Golddess (1361003) | about 4 months ago | (#45856533)

and then somehow hoping that every person in Australia buys some sort of underwater twitter reading watch.

Why would they need to do that? Just have one person who has the job of watching out for shark attacks, drownings, etc. Or if they don't want to hire a life guard, put in an electronic sign that checks the appropriate twitter account.

Re:Wow... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45853745)

How is this headline inaccurate? The tagged sharks cause tweets to occur. Close enough, and I got the article I expected.
 
It's not like the headline read, "all sharks send tweets", or "sharks use fins to send tweets on their Windows phones".

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45854655)

How is this headline inaccurate? The tagged sharks cause tweets to occur. Close enough, and I got the article I expected.

It's not like the headline read, "all sharks send tweets", or "sharks use fins to send tweets on their Windows phones".

Because the sharks have a right to voice their opinions too, even if only 120 characters at a time.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45853747)

I saw this on ABC News a few hours ago. Their headline, "Sharks send tweets..."

I, for one, welcome our microblogging carnivorous aquatic underlords.

was just as inaccurate as this one.

Oops. **Never mind**

Re:Wow... (1)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about 4 months ago | (#45853767)

...I saw this on ABC News a few hours ago. Their headline, "Sharks send tweets..." was just as inaccurate as this one. The sharks do nothing buy go about their routine. The system monitoring them sends tweets. The system monitoring them doesn't monitor all sharks, it monitors tagged sharks, so the system cannot be relied upon to notify of all sharks, it can only notify for known sharks whose tags still function. It's not a bad system, but it's not a sure-fire system either.

Right. It's not sharks with lasers on their heads - but they're still cyborg sharks. Just because the EM radiation doesn't occur in the visible spectrum doesn't mean they can't be dangerous. Or cool.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45853949)

It would be way cool if the EM radiation were coherent, like a laser.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45856383)

Gives a whole new meaning to calling ahead for a dinner reservation

"Blind Cat Dance" by A Jablokov (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45853685)

via The Year's Best Science Fiction (2011)

They all look at the cougar, which is again on the move.
It doesn't see anything at the tables it moves past. It believes the cafe to be empty, in fact see the space as a clearing in a larger forest.
"Okay," Mria says. "maybe that's not so natural."

SaberT

Shark Tweets (5, Funny)

Nova Express (100383) | about 4 months ago | (#45853763)

"Get in ma belly!"

"#ChompChompChomp"

"Check out Buzzfeed's 27 Best Feeding Frenzies"

"This One Trick Helps You Catch Swimmers" #SharkSpam

"You can't escape!" #NeverGonnaGiveYouUp

"And my teeth are...pearly white..."

"I totally loved Jaws, except for that downer of an ending...

Re:Shark Tweets (1)

game kid (805301) | about 4 months ago | (#45853821)

"RT @kanyewest Maybe I shouldn't've opened my mouth when HE did. New #cyborgarm is a #bitchtopayfor"

(Retweeted by LivingToothFactory)

Kudos! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45853997)

Kudos! Good post. I'd upmod it if I could but I'm out of points so instead this is my way of showing appreciation for your joke.

Tagged 420 (@tagshark420) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45854669)

OMG iz jus ate PETA fag LAWLSZZ
#noms #peta #surfsup #oz #somethingfunnyinthathippie #YOLO

Re:Shark Tweets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45854961)

#awkward"Shanghai looks nice from a bowl" #sharksatsoup #excited #sarcasm

Shark attacks are always a media beat-up (5, Informative)

enoz (1181117) | about 4 months ago | (#45853829)

In Australia, there are an average of 1 deaths per year from Shark attacks [taronga.org.au]

For comparison there are an average of 121 deaths per year from drowning at beaches, harbours and rivers.

Furthermore in 2010 [abs.gov.au] 217 people died as a result of an assault and 1,503 died as a result of a transport accident (706 car, 236 motorcycle, 227 pedestrian)

Does that put it in perspective?

Re:Shark attacks are always a media beat-up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45853857)

Obvious solution is having beaches, harbours and rivers tweet as well.

  #watery death

Only fair.

Re:Shark attacks are always a media beat-up (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 4 months ago | (#45854369)

and birds should tweet just before they poop above us.....oh, wait

Re:Shark attacks are always a media beat-up (1)

quenda (644621) | about 4 months ago | (#45853989)

Next time I'm diving, I will try to avoid new followers on Twitter.

In Australia, there are an average of 1 deaths per year from Shark attacks

Thats fine if you live in 1936 in Alice Springs, but WA has had numerous attacks in recent years. You think it is just a random data cluster?

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/timeline-of-shark-attacks-on-wa-beaches-20081227-75sl.html [watoday.com.au]

Re:Shark attacks are always a media beat-up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45854199)

Your linked article supports the data. From a quick scan, 8 deaths in the last 14 years, so it's actually below average which confirms his point about it being a media beat up. Sightings are irrelevant. Injuries would also no doubt be statistically insignificant to injuries from the aforementioned assaults and transport accidents.

Re:Shark attacks are always a media beat-up (1)

quenda (644621) | about 4 months ago | (#45854255)

More like 8 deaths in 4 years, in one state only (10% of the population, so like 20x the 1/year national figure. )
Not nearly so bad as cars, but worse than terrorism.

Re:Shark attacks are always a media beat-up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45855033)

worse than terrorism.

Either you are with us or you are with the sharks.

Re:Shark attacks are always a media beat-up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45854065)

Does that make it a bad idea to stay out of the water if a shark is present?

Re:Shark attacks are always a media beat-up (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | about 4 months ago | (#45854075)

And what would the rate of shark deaths be if Australia didn't already use helicopter spotters to get swimmers out of the water?

I'd agree it's not the most pressing issue. But if it's easily preventable, why not prevent it?

Re:Shark attacks are always a media beat-up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45854197)

and what would be the cost savings without the fancy underwater surveillance net, the helicopters, pilots and spotters if we just let evolution take its course instead? sounds like a lot of money spent, just in australia, for that one life saved.. is it worth it? if you are dumb enough to swim in an ocean with predatory animals? you should be willing to live (or die) with the risk, and no life insurance payout either if do get bit in half (getting eaten by shark while swimming or surfing is negligence on the part of the shark food)

Re:Shark attacks are always a media beat-up (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about 4 months ago | (#45854167)

So basically what you're saying is that we should put sharks with lasers into cars to reduce the number of transportation accidents? I know you never mentioned lasers, but I felt like I needed to correct you there.

Re:Shark attacks are always a media beat-up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45854201)

Shark attacks are rare, yes.
Did you have a point to make besides that, like that resources shouldn't be spent on preventing shark attacks?
Usually a similar point comes up when the "war on terror" comes up; that terror attacks kill relatively few people. So?

Does that total include... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45856585)

...all Sharknado and MegaShark deaths?

Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45853875)

Getting dumber by the second.

The long arm of the NSA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45853891)

I can sense the presence of the NSA here.
So who's going to protest on behalf of those poor sharks having their most basic rights to move freely and in privacy, eh?

What do the Tweets Say? (4, Funny)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 4 months ago | (#45853893)

#candygram?

Re:What do the Tweets Say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45853965)

LOL. Now how many of us get the the joke. *raises hand*

Re:What do the Tweets Say? (1)

Stormy Dragon (800799) | about 4 months ago | (#45853975)

I'm figuring the moderation will be a bunch of +1 funny by people older than 35 and a bunch of -1 overrated by people younger than 30.

Unintended consequences? (4, Insightful)

Pav (4298) | about 4 months ago | (#45853913)

How many times do sharks cruise beaches uneventfully? If this is meant to calm the public mind, well, lets just say this has potential to be counterproductive.

Re:Unintended consequences? (1)

Nehmo (757404) | about 4 months ago | (#45854421)

How many times do sharks cruise beaches uneventfully? If this is meant to calm the public mind, well, lets just say this has potential to be counterproductive.

Really. Actually, sharks swim near humans all the time.

All good and well until... (5, Funny)

Gumbercules!! (1158841) | about 4 months ago | (#45853977)

"You are now being followed by @greatwhite"

Don't Panic (@greatwhite) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45854735)

nuttin jus out 4 #swim lolz
#au #YOLO #nowwatchthis #frenzy

(Retweeted by @hammerhead @bloodymaw23 @toothsalad @flesheater7841 and 2,458 others)

Re:All good and well until... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45857267)

"You are now being followed by @greatwhite"

Sorry, that was brilliant :)

Please come thru (0)

Tablizer (95088) | about 4 months ago | (#45854089)

If there are not at least three +5 shark-laser jokes to come out of this topic, Slashdotters should be forced to use Windows 8.

#yumtastytreats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45854095)

"Look behind you"

Jaws (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | about 4 months ago | (#45854529)

What they should do is play the theme from Jaws on the beach PA system, changing the tempo based on the shark's distance.

Re:Jaws (2.0) (1)

Shoten (260439) | about 4 months ago | (#45857501)

What they should do is play the theme from Jaws on the beach PA system, changing the tempo based on the shark's distance.

Except that now it sounds different. Instead of "dum-dum," it's "oh, hai"...

Oh, hai.

Oh, hai.

OH HAI OH HAI OH HAI OH HAI OH HAI...

Re:Jaws (2.0) (1)

Chas (5144) | about 4 months ago | (#45858095)

What they should do is play the theme from Jaws on the beach PA system, changing the tempo based on the shark's distance.

Except that now it sounds different. Instead of "dum-dum," it's "oh, hai"...

Oh, hai.

Oh, hai.

OH HAI OH HAI OH HAI OH HAI OH HAI...

Yeah. Nothing worse than an Ohio shark.

Sharks with remote controlled lasters (0)

distilate (1037896) | about 4 months ago | (#45854803)

Just tell a laser turret to follow #sharktargets for the latest laser targeting information

Yelp (1)

Kentari (1265084) | about 4 months ago | (#45855535)

Next they start leaving Yelp reviews: "Did not wash feet, will not eat again.", "Food kept kicking me in the face." and "I hate food wrapped in neoprene."

natural selection (1)

DriveDog (822962) | about 4 months ago | (#45856421)

How long will it take for some nonhuman shark prey to evolve receptors for shark warning tweets?

So its news that lawyers also use Twitter!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45856619)

Must have been a slow news day. Poo flinging monkeys also use Twitter, but enough talk about our politicians.

misread the headlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45857461)

I thought the sharks were actually using computers or smart phones to send tweets. I would imagine that typing with fins is hard.

Another dangerous animal. (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about 4 months ago | (#45858067)

As pointed out by a couple columnists a year or two ago, far more people are killed by cows than sharks. Plus it's much easier to tag all the cows than all the sharks, so let's get mooooving on this one!

"Here I come bitches" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45863787)

"Here I come bitches"

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