back to article Australia puts 300 sharks on Twitter

The Australian State of Western Australia (WA) has signed over 300 sharks up to Twitter. The program sees sharks tagged with gadgets that, when they come close to floating monitors located near popular beaches, detect the beasts' presence. When a tracker-equipped shark does so, alerts about its location are piped into the …


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  1. LaeMing

    As Dr Karl Kruszelnicki once said:

    For every person eaten by a shark, 300,000 sharks are eaten by people. Sharks must think about that a lot.

    1. Evil Auditor

      Re: As Dr Karl Kruszelnicki once said:

      We hate when nature strokes back, don't we?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sharks natural habitat is the sea, they don't start wars, cause pollution, commit murder, have drunken rages or cheat on expenses.

    In fact all they do is swim around a bit and have the odd meal. If this means the occasional surfer is eaten for lunch so be it.

    1. MrDamage Silver badge

      And you cant blame the shark for that

      After all, the surfer is the who is deliberately attempting to look like a seal from below.

  3. Old Handle

    Aren't sharks pretty much the least dangerous creature in Australia anyway? Perhaps just above the non-venomous sheep?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There are venomous sheep in australia?

      1. Richard Taylor 2

        venomous sheep

        Given the density of poisonous critters in Oz nothing would surprise me.

      2. Adam 1

        > There are venomous sheep in australia?

        Don't get carried away. There are a small minority of sheep species that are placid.

      3. theblackhand

        Re: venomous sheep in australia?

        Not venomous, but certainly diseased.

        Australians seem to like multiple partners and no protection....

  4. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Just a seal...

    Well a seal is just as likely to eat your face, if there is a shortage of blue sharks to munch on...

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Most dangerous animal in Aus?

    Not sure of the veracity of this list but it seems pretty sound:

    · Horse, pony or donkey – 77 deaths

    · Cow, bull or bovine – 33 deaths

    · Dog – 27 deaths

    · Kangaroo – 18 deaths

    · Bee – 16 deaths

    · Shark – 16 deaths

    · Snake – 14 deaths

    · Crocodile – 9 deaths

    · Ostrich or emu – 5 deaths

    · Others, including fish, sheep, goats, camels, cats and jellyfish – 39 deaths

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: Most dangerous animal in Aus?

      ..anyone ever been killed by a budgie?

      1. MrT

        Killed by a budgie..., but my aunt was badly hurt when it's cage fell on her head.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Most dangerous animal in Aus?

        My sister was bitten by a moose...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Most dangerous animal in Aus?

          But surely not in Oz? And Moose (plural Meece?) kill lots of people in NA - admittedly cos they run into them in their cars and the natural height of the moose just has an affinity with the average car's windscreen height

        2. Anomalous Cowturd

          Re: My sister was bitten by a moose...

          My sister IS a moose...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Most dangerous animal in Aus?

      what about drop bears?

      1. lglethal Silver badge

        Re: Most dangerous animal in Aus?

        Shhh AC. If people knew the real figure about Drop Bears they'd be too frightened to come and the tourist industry would collapse.

        We just write Drop Bear deaths off as "camping/hiking accidents"....

        1. Adam 1

          Re: Most dangerous animal in Aus?

          > We just write Drop Bear deaths off as "camping/hiking accidents"....

          Not to mention the "holiday road toll". Why anyone would voluntarily go on a drive through the country in a soft top or with windows down is just crazy.

    3. KA1AXY

      Re: Most dangerous animal in Aus?

      Just in the past year?

      Dangerous place, Australia...

    4. Martin Budden

      Re: Most dangerous animal in Aus?

      There is a reason why "Crocodile" is so far down that list: the vast majority of deaths from crocodile attacks remain unconfirmed and so don't get counted in the statistics. To confirm the death you need either multiple witnesses to the attack (sometimes this happens) or human remains to examine (this never happens). Crocodiles are very very good at killing, and will do so at every opportunity.

      I wonder if deaths caused by Huntsman spiders all get counted in the road death figures? They hide above the car's sun visor, and when you flip it down you get a huge hairy spider land in your lap... try not to panic yourself into oncoming traffic!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People are feckin' stupid

    People are so f*king stupid: how many people a year die in car accidents in the US versus shark attacks for example??

    What we should be tagging is *stupid* drivers... I do despair at times.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: People are feckin' stupid

      I'm not sure how you think making American roads safer is going to make people who like to swim on Australian beaches feel safer.

      More people are killed by bad diet/lifestyle than cars, but I don't see you on a treadmill. Now who's stupid?

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: People are feckin' stupid

      I bet there are very few marine car accidents compared with shark attacks. Barring Kennedys for those with long memories.

    3. Martin Budden

      Re: People are feckin' stupid

      Tagging stupid drivers would lead to a cacophony of tweets; it would be much simpler to tag good drivers. Or just wait a couple of years for self-driving cars to arrive :-)

  7. Dramoth

    An interesting fact

    More people die from hippo attacks than from shark attacks.

    But honestly, the West Australian (WA) government must think that the average citizen is stupid or something. What they are calling a beach safety program where they kill any shark 3m or bigger that comes within 1km (1093 yards) of the beach is nothing more than a PR program to try and resurrect the fading tourist industry. They are killing endangered species of sharks amongst those sharks. One of the major issues about this new pogrom is that they are using baited drum lines approximately 1km from shore. So those sharks that would not necessarily come within 1km of the shoreline will now come swimming in looking for that tantalising odor in the water and the government will point to the numbers of large sharks they are catching as a fear exercise to prove that their pogrom is working.

    They advertise that it is for your safety when there is an average of 1.1 persons/year killed by sharks in WA. More people in WA die from cancer, heart disease, alcohol related disease and car accidents than from shark attacks, but you dont see the current government trying to stamp those things out.

    There are 2.5 million people who live in WA and out of those, approximately 2 million people live within 1 hours drive of a beach. You have more chance of getting king hit in the Northbridge restaurant and nightclub area than you would have of getting attacked by a shark.

    The most dangerous animal in Australia... a politician with an agenda.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: An interesting fact

      "The most dangerous animal in Australia... a politician with an agenda".

      The most dangerous animal in the world, surely ....

      1. Vic

        Re: An interesting fact

        > The most dangerous animal in the world

        You omitted the <clarkson> ... </clarkson> tags...


      2. Charles Manning

        Politicains with agendas

        Over a million people a year dies of malaria that was getting under control until politicians banned the use of DDT in repelling and killing mosquitoes.

    2. Hud Dunlap


      Have to agree with you. I grew up in Florida in the Sixties and Seventies. Back then it was common to have small planes towing banners over the coast. Somebody got the bright idea of having them look for sharks as a warning system. The problem was , there were always sharks there. Most of the time there were sharks between the swimmers and the shore.

      The idea was quickly shelved.

    3. JDX Gold badge

      Re: An interesting fact

      So because something is rare, don't bother about it? A politician who does something about a perceived threat, in order to safeguard $(tens of millions) of tourist money, is definitely not stupid.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: An interesting fact

        Oh come on. Basically every swimming beach in the country is shark netted anyway, so as a swimmer the figures of attacks is even lower then that said in the article. The attacks that happen tend to happen to surfers because they're outside of the shark nets or at beachs where the water is too rough/not suitable for swimmers and so arent netted.

        Simpler and more humane solution, spend some f%&king money educating Aussies and tourists that the only safe place to swim is at patrolled beaches, and on those beaches to swim between the flags. Guess what, then there would be no frigging shark attacks and a whole bucket load less drownings and near drownings as well!

        1. Dramoth

          Re: An interesting fact

          @ lglethal

          I take it you dont actually live in Australia do you?

          There are a grand total of 51 netted beaches in Australia... all of them in NSW (and apparently most of the sharks netted are on the "inside" of the nets. QLD uses the good old fashioned and reliable drum lines (which the WA government are proposing on using) and they havent really solved the whole shark attack issue. In WA, the coast line is actually fairly straight for the length of Perth and unless you want to stretch shark netting from North Fremantle (Port Beach) to about 45km north (Yanchep) and from the other side of Fremantle harbour all the way to the other side of Mandurah (the Dawesville Cut) it just isnt feasible to do it.

          Also... your idea of only swimming at patrolled beaches... I think that there are a grand total of 3 in WA... maybe going as high as 5. Some of the better beaches also double as surf beaches so there are always going to be people on boards, acting like seals, outside of the flags anyway.

          While your thoughts have some merit... in practicality, they are full of shit.

          1. lglethal Silver badge

            Re: An interesting fact

            @Dramoth, actually I am Australian (from Syd), although I'll admit that I dont live in Aus anymore.

            If what you say about there being only 3 patrolled beaches in WA, then surely THAT is where the money being spent on helicopters, baiting, and shark killing should be being spent! Lifesavers are damn good at there job and not normally that expensive (considering how much a helicopter costs to run per hour, you get a damn site more lifesavers for the same cost!). And they'll save a hell of a lot more lives then killing a few sharks which may or may not be tempted by a swimmer...

          2. Charles Manning


            Far too many people think netting is a benign measure that puts a "fence" between swimmers and sharks.

            Not so.

            Nets primarily work by entangling and killing the sharks. This is no more ecologically sound than fishing for them with hook or harpoon.

        2. A Dawson

          Re: An interesting fact

          Sorry you are wrong .. no beach nets in Western Australia.

      2. NumptyScrub

        Re: An interesting fact

        quote: "So because something is rare, don't bother about it? A politician who does something about a perceived threat, in order to safeguard $(tens of millions) of tourist money, is definitely not stupid."

        I think I'd rather they spent the money on reduction of the 1 in 3362 chance that I'll drown while swimming there, rather than the 1 in 292525 chance that I'll get scoffed by a shark while swimming there. Prioritising the one that I'm 87 times more likely to die from while participating in the same activity sounds to me like the sensible choice to spend a limited budget on. Prioritising the one that claims far less lives annually does indeed sound like the stupid option to me.

        This is classic political maneouvering: spend money on the one that makes you look good, not the one that is actually the most pressing issue.

        "Australia: don't worry about the sharks, you're 90 times more likely to drown instead :)"

        1. JDX Gold badge

          This is classic political maneouvering

          Which scares people from entering the water, drowning or sharks? You're dumber than the politicians you're attacking, they realise that what people are worried about is what makes the difference to tourism.

  8. John 110

    The figures speak for themselves

    1 in 292,525 chance of being killed by a shark

    1,193 people died on Australia's roads in 2013

    Maybe it would be better to tag cars so that they can tweet when they're about to knock you down (LOL)


    1. KA1AXY

      Re: The figures speak for themselves

      _1,193 people died on Australia's roads in 2013_

      33,561 US road deaths in 2012 (2013 data not in yet)

      USA! USA! USA!

      // scary high number -- perhaps we should get more agressive about DUIs?

      // does not worry about being shark lunch, but does try hard not to look like a seal when swimming

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: The figures speak for themselves

        Only 33,561? Given the roads and drivers here in California, I can only attribute that to safety improvements in automobile construction.

  9. HKmk23

    Am I missing something?

    So I am happily swimming in the sea and a shark comes in, it Tweets that it is coming for a meal......Oh sh#t, I left my mobile on the beach as it not one of these new waterproof ones......

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: Am I missing something?

      @HKmk23 #omnomnom you taste like burger lol #thugsharklife #yolo

  10. Graham Marsden

    Sharks on Twitter...

    @bigwhite1975 just when they thought it was safe to go back in the water lol! #feedingfrenzy!

  11. Cthulhu

    Bearly believable

    My wife went trekking/camping in Banff a few years ago. All the second night she was hearing animal noises by the tent, and as there had been a fatal bear attack 2 days previously she was justifiably nervous.

    The following morning as they were packing up to move on she realised why there had been so much overnight attention. She had forgotton to eat her salmon sandwiches and they were still in the bag inside her pillowcase where she originally stored them...

    That is all.

  12. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge

    The shark's main diet is humans, everybody knows that

  13. Neil of Qld

    Go swimming sometimes

    Not worried about sharks

    I am worried about drunken morons in boats and jet-skis

    Not to mention the road trip home.

  14. chris lively


    quote: “... has a 1 in 3,362 chance of drowning at the beach and a 1 in 292,525 chance of being killed by a shark in one's entire lifetime.”

    What's the chance of being killed by a shark in someone else's lifetime? Or, perhaps, what are the chances of being killed by a shark in only half of your lifetime?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: lol

      "what are the chances of being killed by a shark in only half of your lifetime?"

      Zero. By definition, you can only die at the end of your lifetime. Unless you are Lazerous.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: lol

        Does lazerous mean "extremely lazy" I wonder?

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