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Shark! New Sonar Buoy Will Warn Beachgoers When Large Sharks Are Near

Soulskill posted about a month ago | from the will-also-summon-the-ghost-of-roy-scheider dept.

Shark 55

stephendavion writes: While the risk of being attacked by a shark is certainly low, it's one of those terrors that can weigh heavily on the mind of a beach-goer, particularly in higher-risk beaches such as those in Australia and South Africa. A new device is currently being developed to warn swimmers when a shark is detected in the water near a beach, and — no surprise — the Aussies are behind it. The Clever Buoy is being called the "world's first shark detection buoy" by its developers. The project is a collaboration between Australian telecommunications company Optus and marine safety company Shark Attack Mitigation Systems.

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55 comments

clever bouy = clever name (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about a month ago | (#47365357)

+1 for the name alone. ++1 if it also captured and uploaded youtube videos of sharks at the beach.

Escalation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47365401)

It may be clever but it will lead to an escalation. Next the sharks, in order to deal with the buoys, will have to arm themselves - maybe with laser beams.

It will go on and on, sharks then get tornadoes .... soon, its a nuclear arms race.

No sir, this will not end well.

Re:Escalation (1)

qpqp (1969898) | about a month ago | (#47365511)

They [wired.com] already [phys.org] have [news.com.au] lasers [thinkgeek.com] , have you been living under a rock, or behind the moon?

And, if you forgot, the original laser sharks [wikia.com] were created during the American civil war.

Re:Escalation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47366091)

It's called a clever bouy, so there is the imminent danger of dalekization from the sharks behalf.

Re:Escalation (1)

milkmage (795746) | about a month ago | (#47368661)

what the fuck are sharks going to do with tomatoes?

Re:Escalation (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | about a month ago | (#47369831)

Breed, so that soon SciFy channel can make a movie called Sharkmatoe?

Re:clever bouy = clever name (1)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | about a month ago | (#47365461)

+1 for the name alone. ++1 if it also captured and uploaded youtube videos of sharks at the beach.

It would've been even better if it was called the Shark-Bouy, though.

Re:clever bouy = clever name (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about a month ago | (#47365661)

But how is it against clever girls? [imgur.com]

Re:clever bouy = clever name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47366003)

It's not going to appear clever to the North Americans who will be pronouncing it Clever Booey.

Re:clever bouy = clever name (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47373153)

-1 for the stupid idea though. Being attacked by a shark is as rare as being struck by lightning or winning the lottery.

Has to be better... (3, Interesting)

wandering_ronin (1202463) | about a month ago | (#47365363)

As a fellow Aussie I think this is fantastic. Anything has to be better than the inhumane slaughter of sharks in Western Australia this summer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W... [wikipedia.org] I'm not a greenie or tree hugger but fucking with the apex predators of any ecosystem always ends with horrendous consequences.

Re:Has to be better... (1)

fishybell (516991) | about a month ago | (#47365869)

You're assuming it's an either/or situation. It looks more to me like someone is profiting on the fear.

Re:Has to be better... (1)

pepty (1976012) | about a month ago | (#47366287)

Can it tell the difference between a shark and a dolphin? I guess if it mistakes a duck diving surfer for a shark it would be one way to cut down on the crowds.

Re:Has to be better... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a month ago | (#47366803)

I am an Aussie and a "greenie", I support your message as do the majority of Aussies who have actually been attacked by sharks (and lived to give an opinion).

Sam Kinnison (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a month ago | (#47365409)

Go where the sharks ARENT!

Re:Sam Kinnison (1)

Lotana (842533) | about a month ago | (#47365421)

But the beach is beautiful! Why should that selfish shark be the only one that use it?! The damn fish should share.

Re:Sam Kinnison (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47365503)

Sharks do share. After it takes a few bites of its meal, small pieces of flesh float all around the shark. Instead of taking every last bit for itself, the shark shares these bits with other fish. It asks for nothing in return. It only wants to make the ocean a better place. The shark also helps make the surface a better place through what sharks call natural selection - two-legs dumb enough to enter a shark's hunting waters cease to pollute the gene pool.

Re:Sam Kinnison (1)

jasonrice22 (3458571) | about a month ago | (#47365469)

Go where the sharks ARENT!

They'll have to invent another buoy that tells you where the sharks aren't.

Re:Sam Kinnison (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a month ago | (#47365673)

Generally speaking the sharks aren't where the shark netting is. The expensive style, the heavy non catching but barrier style as used in Hong Kong. The buoy makes no sense. You might just as well ban people from using public beaches. The idea is for people to be able to freely use public beaches. The more the buoy goes off the more people will stay away, think about it. In a reduced natural resource environment sharks will endeavour to expand their meal options and rather than catching or scaring the crap out of beach goers upon regular occasions, simply warding the sharks off is the smart option. Perhaps suitable man shaped appropriately scented baits with a substantial electrical deterrent built in could be added near the nets for added benefit ie bite people and it hurts a lot.

Re:Sam Kinnison (1)

turning in circles (2882659) | about a month ago | (#47365747)

Don't you think that there will be some people who will wait for the buoy to warn them a shark is near and then go in the water? I don't mean to pick on Australians, I'm talking about dumb macho guys (not like the guys here on /.).

Re:Sam Kinnison (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | about a month ago | (#47369855)

The world would be improved with fewer 'dumb macho guys', so there's no downside to that.

Re:Sam Kinnison (1)

Threni (635302) | about a month ago | (#47366883)

Swim only where there are children splashing around further out than you; when the bubbles turn red it's time to leave the water for a refreshing beer!

Fish AND Chips (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47365417)

As somone who dives off Perth's beaches alot but has not seen any Tigers or GWs to date, i have mixed emotions about the current strategies to minimise the risk of attacks. This technology looks like a vast improvement to the current underinformed debacle that our government has introduced. It certainly beats killing everything else that looks similar to the threat but actually isn't for no demonstrated value, as we are doing at the moment.

What about false positives... (0)

niftymitch (1625721) | about a month ago | (#47365449)

Consider the actions if a cretan like Rush Limbaugh was to paddle
by...

How would the sensor decide if it was a cretan, a cetaceans or a chondrichthyes?

Re: What about false positives... (0)

s.petry (762400) | about a month ago | (#47365531)

If Rush Limbaugh is swimming by I fully expect that people would want to be evacuated. Win win in my ever so humble opinion!

Re:What about false positives... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47365533)

There's Whale Warning Buoys for that.

Re:What about false positives... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47365557)

He wouldn't be using a public beach, for one.

Re:What about false positives... (1)

grcumb (781340) | about a month ago | (#47365705)

Consider the actions if a cretan like Rush Limbaugh was to paddle by...

How would the sensor decide if it was a cretan, a cetaceans or a chondrichthyes?

Clearly, they would know that a Cretan is just a Minoan [wikipedia.org] a large pool.

A dinner bell! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47365951)

The buoy will be a nice dinner bell for the baby sharks.

Yes but who will warn the sharks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47365515)

... you know, that people are near ...

Notification sound? (4, Funny)

Jeremi (14640) | about a month ago | (#47365571)

Please please please tell me this device alerts swimmers by playing the "Jaws" theme over the water...

tornado siren sound better fit (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a month ago | (#47365879)

even more with Sharknado 2 on it's way.

Re:Notification sound? (1)

oheso (898435) | about a month ago | (#47365923)

I'd much prefer Tim Conway.

Re:Notification sound? (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about a month ago | (#47366827)

Please please please tell me this device alerts swimmers by playing the "Jaws" theme over the water...

No it just emits an alarm sound that causes hundreds of people to scramble ashore trashing and splashing as they go and generally making lots of the kind of struggling animal sounds that sharks home in on like... well... hungry sharks.

Re:Horrible Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47367163)

It should play the song, Barracuda!

You yell, "Barracuda!", people say, "Huh? What?" You yell, "Shark!" and you got a panic on your hands on the Fourth of July.

Terror in the minds (0)

fishybell (516991) | about a month ago | (#47365831)

Yes, the terror is in the minds of many beach goers, but not in reality. By putting this in place they're validating that fear. Of course this doesn't surprise me as Australia is currently in the middle of a shark cull [wikipedia.org] . Sometimes I forget that the US doesn't have a monopoly on acting on unsubstantiated (and often dis-proven) fears; it's part of the human condition.

Re:Terror in the minds (2)

cyn1c77 (928549) | about a month ago | (#47366013)

Yes, the terror is in the minds of many beach goers, but not in reality. By putting this in place they're validating that fear. Of course this doesn't surprise me as Australia is currently in the middle of a shark cull [wikipedia.org] . Sometimes I forget that the US doesn't have a monopoly on acting on unsubstantiated (and often dis-proven) fears; it's part of the human condition.

That was typed like someone who has never been sliding off the side of their surfboard and noticed a shark directly on the other side of it. Or who has never had their surfboard "bumped" as the shark decides if it is worthy of eating.

Shark attacks are infrequent, but they leave lifelong crippling injuries. If we can get a buoy to give us a heads up, I would be all for it.

"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you.”

Re:Terror in the minds (1)

fishybell (516991) | about a month ago | (#47366175)

I have swam with sharks on numerous occasions, and always look forward to doing it again. I realize that surfers are especially at risk, so would I surf without personal protection (like a Shark Shield)? No. That's silly. Respect and fear are two different things. The sharks aren't out to get you. They may be curious, but because they're not mindless killing machines most peoples encounters with sharks end with a bump or a "omg! look! a shark!" moment. If sharks truly wanted to eat people then almost no coastal waters would be safe. As it is, millions of people go the beach to surf, swim, snorkel, etc. without incident every year. We can't make the world a perfectly safe place, and there are much more dangerous animals out there than sharks (for example, mosquitos, pigs, bees, ants, dogs, crocodiles, and other people). A waste of money is a waste of money, no matter how many warm fuzzies it gives people.

Re:Terror in the minds (2)

Corbets (169101) | about a month ago | (#47366321)

They may be curious, but because they're not mindless killing machines

Actually, that's more or less what they are. They don't sit back and plan to eat people - but if they happen to be hungry, and there's a person nearby that looks edible, they may react and take a bite.

I fail to see how giving people more information, enabling them to make informed choices about getting in the water or not, is a waste of money.

I have swam with sharks on numerous occasions, and always look forward to doing it again

Completely irrelevant. An anecdote is not data, and I don't see anyone suggesting that every encounter with sharks - or even most - is going to result in human casualties.

Re:Terror in the minds (1)

internerdj (1319281) | about a month ago | (#47368573)

There have been two shark attacks in the past 50 years at the nearest beach to me both non-fatal. They still will close the water if there is an observed abundance of sharks. From what I've heard from people who have flown over the area, large sharks close to swimmers is a typical occurance. I can't imagine what it would be like to try to plan a trip to the beach if the authorities had one of these devices.

Re:Terror in the minds (1)

PPH (736903) | about a month ago | (#47368455)

Actually, this system alerts the lifeguards, not the swimmers. I assume they can then use an appropriate response for the situation, including warn the swimmers, or scaring the skark off with waverunners.

lucky... (1)

johnsnails (1715452) | about a month ago | (#47365929)

Lucky it relies on G+ and not orkut....

Dropping Coconuts shark bites (1)

Kittenman (971447) | about a month ago | (#47365933)

I heard that more people get killed by having a coconut fall on their head, than from shark attack. Anything we can do to alleviate that menace? It's obviously more of a danger than shark attack.

Source (dubious, but so is the shark number... http://paradise.docastaway.com... [docastaway.com] )

be smart about the ocean (2)

MrKaos (858439) | about a month ago | (#47365955)

Don't go into the water in the twlight hours of the day, when long shadows are cast into the water. If you are cut and bleeding get out of the water, people who don't attract sharks to where swimmers are. Don't let dogs in the water near people, they attract sharks with the way they swim and their fear. However possibly the worst thing I can see to do with sharks is when people get in one of those cages and diving gear to attract a shark to them with meat so they can get a thrill. It's a great way to teach them that we are a food source while there is so much pressure on the fishstocks.

I am a qualified lifesaver and a powerfull swimmer. I usually swim where it's deep enough to avoid other dangers, like white water (that suck you under) and shore dumps (that snap your spine like a twig). Surfers look for me because I can see *under* the waves to identify where the sandbars are and good waves will be generated. Unfortunately surfers get territorial about the waves and think they have some right to surf them, with their environmentally destructive little fibreglass boats that they lay on. I've actually had surfers drop in on a wave I caught and if my swim stroke doesn't smash into their board and hurt my hand then it hits them and they think I've punched them. So people don't look after each other because of that attitude.

Unfortunately so many people who go to a beach absolve all responsibility for theirs, and everybody elses, lives onto the life saving crew that are there. I have witnessed some stupid and bad things such as;

A obese woman, with an attitude, confusing her arrogance at thinking she was a powerful swimmer, for the rip that was taking her out to sea. I watched her, struggle for a minute or so as she realised she was in trouble and as the ocean to humbled her. I was off duty and pointed it out to one of my mates who had to take a rescue board out. I took him almost 10 minutes to get her fat ass on that board while the rest of us looked on in fits of laughter. Finally his face was less than 10 cm from her ass crack as he laboured, and I mean laboured, to get her into shore.

A bloke with his (reasonablly large) jet ski, too close to shore. The surf was pretty big. It picked up the jet ski like a toy right in front of me and flung it right at me. If I didn't dive under it, it would have killed me. After the wave I grabbed the JS to control it, he swam over to me and asked me to hold it while he got back on. I told him "fuck you mother fuckker, this is going in to shore, you are going to help me do it or you can fuck off". The crew held him till the police came and charged him with a few things.

A poor asian man, with his family, had waded in the shin deep water on a sand bar. A very beautiful day as the tide came in, totally unaware of the danger. Before anyone had realised it, the sandbank collapsed. His wife and daughter both drowned.

Still hurts, but, a mate who swam out to resue one of the said, selfish surfers who was out in a storm. He rescued the guy, but got taken himself. They found his body almost two weeks later trapped under a rock ledge.

If you come across a seal, penguin, or turtle swimming near you - get the fuck out, a shark is near. Another mate has had a shark come near him when he was surfing and discovered they will bump up against you to see how tough you are. Obviously he was terrified and got out quick.

People are just dumb when it comes to the ocean, they don't take responsibility for their own lives and a duped by beautiful weather into thinking they are ok. I love the ocean, it takes away all of your malice while restoring and humbling you. When I swim in the ocean I realise it can kill me whenever it wants in a variety of ways. Sharks are just one.

Buoy warns beachgoers when large sharks are near (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a month ago | (#47365995)

That's a good idea, except for the fact that the "lasers" are always attached to the small sharks.

unfair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47366489)

this is really unfair to sharks... imagine everytime you wanted a burger , some alarm would play and all mcd employees would hide away

Re:unfair (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a month ago | (#47366709)

Yeah... you might just have to go to a real restaurant.

(Incidentally, it's a pretty good analogy.Human meat is about as palatable to a shark as a Big Mac is to a man with fully-functioning tastebuds.)

so fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47366527)

can't wait to hack it.

DoS on the beach.

Complicated much? (1)

aXis100 (690904) | about a month ago | (#47366669)

Not sure why it requires a satellite link and a smartphone. I can understand the versatility but wouldnt a whip antenna and 900MHz line of sight radio to a reciever on the beach work just fine? Seems like expensive overkill and less reliability as you have to have someone monitoring the phone.

False positives on whales (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47367169)

in this context, meaning fat 'muricans

Run you clever buoy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47367621)

and remember

Dolphin Zapper (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47369197)

And the sonar deafens all those pesky marine mammals.

Have we learned nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47369827)

... from Pavlov's work.

The alarm will trigger panic in the water, the ideal conditions for a shark attack. Before long the sharks will start salivating as soon as the alarm goes off.

Thinking about the bouys I've seen at the beach... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47370843)

I have a hard time thinking that anything truly sensitive to detect sharks won't be fouled by encrustations in a couple of weeks. The sea surface can be a truly harsh environment.

Optus is not Australian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47373565)

It's the Australian trading name for Singtel.
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