Environment

Shark app mooted

October 18, 2012 NEWS DAY

WORDS: ELLE CAHILL

VIDEO: GEMMA VARONE and STEPHANIE SBROCCO

The public may soon be able to monitor the whereabouts of sharks, with the CSIRO proposing a new tracking app for smartphones.

CSIRO is exploring the development of an app that will track tagged sharks along the Australian coastline.

Recent shark attacks along the WA coast have sparked debate over how best to deal with sharks, with the government making no secret of its consideration to legalise culling.

Bond University Environmental Science Associate Professor Darryl McPhee said an advantage of an app was that it did not pose the mortality risk to sharks that nets did.

Taronga Zoo Life Sciences Operations Manager John West said the five fatal shark attacks in WA this were was an unusually high number.

“The average cases for unprovoked attacks in Australia remains around 12 cases per year for the last 10 years,” Mr West said.

He said the shark tracking would only monitor tagged sharks.

“All the other white sharks will travel past without detection,” Mr West said.

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