Sharks off Australia tagged to send Twitter alerts

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More than 300 sharks in western Australia are now tweeting when they get too close to shore.

Government researchers have tagged 338 sharks with acoustic transmitters that monitor where the animals are, according to a report on National Public Radio. When they get too close to shore, they send alerts via Twitter.

The effort is in response to a dramatic rise in shark attacks in the region.

When a tagged shark is about half a mile away from a beach, it triggers a computer alert, which tweets out a message on the Surf Life Saving Western Australia Twitter feed. The tweet notes the shark’s size, breed and approximate location.

The tagging system alerts beach-goers far quicker than traditional warnings, says Chris Peck, operations manager of Surf Life Saving Western Australia. “Now it’s instant information,” he tells Sky News, “and really people don’t have an excuse to say we’re not getting the information. It’s about whether you are searching for it and finding it.”

The tags will also be monitored by scientists studying the sharks. Researchers have tagged great whites, whaler sharks and tiger sharks.

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