Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Death by SMS...

From November onwards each year, the shark newswires begin to buzz with screams of Death, Ataaacckkkk, Surfer, and BLOOoooooddd emanating from Australia's newcasts. Great whites and other sharks congregate along parts of the aussie coastline in an annual migratory fashion. The event is usually pre empted by public calls for more beach patrols, more drum lines, beach cordons and aerial shark control hit squads who can snipe surfer chewing sharks from a helicopter.
Fortunately the predictable media merry-go-round is accompanied by sane and earthly quotes from the same surfers who are said to require the overt protection such as "well mate, were in their world, we don't have the right to cull them, it's our own risk..." and such like. Thank goodness the surfers are more in touch with the real world than the marine authorities.
This week in welcome contrast came news from this online source of a method to track great whites via satelite technology that will allow data from the tags to be received by SMS to mobile phones. The technology is not brand new, there was talk of this methodology being used in Aliwal Shoal to track tiger shark migrations back in 07.
The beauty of it is that it allows marine safety officials to monitor shark movements along the coast in a realtime environment. The beneficial offshoot to the effort is that marine scientists can learn valuable marine management strategies to help protect great whites from the unnecessary and rediculous tactic of deadly drum lines and beach nets.

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