Finally, there’s some practical use for texting. Australian lifeguards will soon get text messages when Great White sharks swim near the beaches they are patrolling.
Researchers are electronically tagging the often misunderstood man-eating predators with GPS units which will constantly monitor their whereabouts and movements.
If sharks wander near populated beaches, a satellite receiver will then automatically send out texts and emails to wildlife officials and lifeguards.
Currently 74 white sharks have been tagged and there are 20 communications-equipped monitoring stations have been installed off the Perth coast.
This network and creative use of technology is hoped to ultimately “provide timely alerts of tagged sharks’ presence close to beaches” — and to save lives.
According to Australian Department of Fisheries’ Senior Research Scientist Dr Rory McAuley said: “With more monitors installed we have improved chances of hearing from tagged sharks, when they are around.
“Although sharks are being tagged to improve our understanding of the risk of attacks, it is also important that beachgoers are advised of detections.”