Although it's not a perfect solution to shark attacks, it's nonetheless quite creative.
Government researchers [in Australia] have tagged 338 sharks with acoustic transmitters that monitor where the animals are. 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 beachgoers far quicker than traditional warnings, says Chris Peck, operations manager of Surf Life Saving Western Australia. "Now it's instant information," hetells 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."
"This kind of innovative thinking is exactly what we need more of when it comes to finding solutions to human-wildlife conflict," says Alison Kock, research manager of the Shark Spotters program in South Africa. Kock tells NPR that the project is a good idea — but that people should know that not all sharks are tagged. "It can, in fact, provide a false sense of security — that is, if there is no tweet, then there is no danger — and that simply is not a reasonable interpretation," Holland says, pointing out that the reverse is also true. "Just because there's a shark nearby doesn't mean to say that there's any danger."