You Can Avoid Sharks by Their ... Tweets?

Australian scientists attach transmitters to sharks to warn surfers
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2013 7:45 AM CST
A great white shark is seen in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Discovery Channel, Andrew Brandy Casagrande, File)
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(Newser) – It's getting harder and harder for a shark to sneak up on people these days. As if the whole fin-sticking-out-of-the-water problem wasn't bad enough, now you might accidentally tweet your location, too. Scientists in Western Australia have attached transmitters to more than 320 sharks; the transmitters automatically tweet their location, along with the type of shark, if they come within roughly a mile of a beach, Sky News reports.

The system is far faster than traditional radio and newspaper shark alerts, explains a member of Surf Life Saving Western Australia, which hosts the tweets. "You might not have got some of that information until the following day in which case the hazard has long gone," he said. "Now, it's instant information." Plus, a Department of Fisheries researcher said, the tags could provide mountains of scientific data. November saw Western Australia's sixth fatal shark attack in two years, an unusual surge that has inspired mild panic and controversial shark-killing policies.

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