Protecting Australia’s Beaches – Shark Net Vs. Internet

Protecting Australia’s Beaches – Shark Net Vs. Internet
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, features and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Gizmodo Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a news fix.

Seeing as Western Australia is where most shark-related deaths happen, authorities are keen to keep an open mind on news ways to tackle the problem. And no matter what your opinion is on the amount of resources that go into shark attack prevention, their new system put into place will be quite useful – as soon as a tagged shark comes near a beach, a Twitter notice is sent within minutes to anyone following.

With over 320 sharks tagged with tracking devices, WA residents can now be informed if one of them swims within 1km of a beach, UK’s Mirror reports.

While images fly around the internet about how disproportionate our fear of sharks is to the amount of deaths actually caused by sharks, it’s hard to say how much that figure is actually because of our fear of sharks. It’s sparked debate recently, due to funding being diverted to the issue as opposed to problems that cause far more deaths – such as automobile accidents – and also because of our shark nets in place, which kill marine life indiscriminately. But we’re a beach loving nation, and that fear was never going to leave us as soon as Spielberg made a film involving steadily quickening string instruments.

But while people argue about shark nets, and shark finning, Surf Life Saving WA’s new tactic is bound to help people while ruffling very few feathers. It’s a cheaper system, a more automated system, and aside from some possible discomfort when the tracking devices are inserted (which would happen anyway, for SCIENCE), it’s harmless to the sharks. Maybe, one day, it’ll even cut down on the manpower needed to visually observe sharks as they swim near populated areas.

For those in WA, you can follow the Twitter account at @SLSWA.

[Great White Shark] via Shutterstock