Shark fatalities have been on the rise recently, and with a surfer being tragically killed after losing his legs in an Australia attack last week, the focus on the issue is currently hotter than ever.
While there’s normally an average of just one shark-related fatality per year, the shocking incident last week was the sixth in the past 12 months in Oz, but a smart phone app is currently in development which could help surfers detect sharks in their local waters.
The app is called Global Shark Tracker, and it pretty much does what it says on the tin. The software lets you track sharks that have been tagged by local researchers, specifically working around the Brisbane and Port Douglas area of Australia at the moment.
The app comes on the back of a bigger project where researchers are aiming to catch and tag 23 tiger sharks and monitor their behaviour, and while it won’t be too much use in helping surfers avoid sharks at the minute, with few sharks having been tagged, Southeast Queensland tiger shark researcher Bonnie Holmes believes it could well do just that in the future.
“Having that information in real-time is fantastic,” she told the Daily Mail. “If people do want it for a slight safety reason then absolutely [it’s great].
“We might be able to show that sharks don’t go to certain areas and remove shark control gear…”
“We might be able to show they don’t go to certain areas so we might be able to remove some of the shark control gear [from certain places].”
While shark attacks remain incredibly rare, this would no doubt be an app that would be more than welcome for beach goers Down Under.
Just now the app is being used for largely research purposes, but if the tagging is completed successfully and as expected, it could well be on phones throughout Australia soon.