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Want to Track Sharks? There's an App for That
8/28/2012

The solar-powered Wave Glider includes an acoustic receiver that tracks the location of sharks. Information from the tags is transmitted along a network of buoys in areas where sharks are known to congregate and connects to an iPhone/iPad app so users also can follow the sharks, as well as view interactive maps and information about them.   (Source: Stanford University)
The solar-powered Wave Glider includes an acoustic receiver that tracks the location of sharks. Information from the tags is transmitted along a network of buoys in areas where sharks are known to congregate and connects to an iPhone/iPad app so users also can follow the sharks, as well as view interactive maps and information about them.
(Source: Stanford University)

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Rob Spiegel
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Re: Tracking tagged sharks
Rob Spiegel   9/10/2012 11:51:00 AM
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Huh. Interesting point, Ann. So the dolphins might play with the floating robots. I wonder how rugged the robots are.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Tracking tagged sharks
Ann R. Thryft   9/10/2012 12:42:01 PM
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Rob, that's my concern. They are quite rugged, as far as ocean conditions go, but I wonder whether they have been designed with manhandling--shark-handling? dolphin-handling?--in mind.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Tracking tagged sharks
Rob Spiegel   9/10/2012 2:55:26 PM
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That's funny, Ann. Yet a good point. I'd love to see sea creatures messing with this robot. It might be worth installing a camera on the device to see what it encounters. It could have its own show on Animal Planet. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Tracking tagged sharks
Ann R. Thryft   9/11/2012 12:17:18 PM
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Rob, that's a good one--a robot having its own show on Animal Planet. Why not?

Charles Murray
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Re: Tracking tagged sharks
Charles Murray   9/18/2012 7:08:56 PM
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I agree, Beth. Whale trackers could use this. I keep hearing stories of people who get on a commercial whale watching excursion and see not a single whale (I heard one of these tales just last week again). If I'm going to get seasick on a whale watching boat, I want to at least see some whales.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Tracking tagged sharks
Beth Stackpole   9/19/2012 7:10:20 AM
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@Rob: Not brave enough to track Orcas, nor do they habitat where we live. For the last few years, the feeding grounds at Stellwagon and Jeffrey's Ledge off of the Massachusetts shore line have been a treasure trove for seeing humpbacks and finbacks, sometimes sharks and dolphins. We have literally been out there (it's about 25 miles off shore) and see hundreds of flukes cresting (I am not joking). To the point that you almost don't notice any more. The last few years haven't been as active and you have to really seek out where the whales are feeding, hence the need for an app that could take away some of the guess work.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Tracking tagged sharks
Rob Spiegel   9/19/2012 11:26:52 AM
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That sounds beautiful, Beth, watching the flukes cresting. I didn't know you had to be brave to watch orcas. I spent a week on a sailboat around the San Juan islands a number of years ago. One afternoon a pod of orcas surfaced on both sides of the boat, literally within five feet on either side, about 20 of them. Quite impressive.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Tracking tagged sharks
Beth Stackpole   9/20/2012 7:36:54 AM
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Now that would be incredible, Rob. Consider yourself very lucky to have witnessed something so intense and so special. Ok, and brave as well!

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Tracking tagged sharks
Rob Spiegel   9/20/2012 1:58:13 PM
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Well, I was ignorant enough not to think there was anything to cause fear. They swam on both sides of the boat for about half an hour. I guess they thought we were part of their pod. I've never seen anything like it. There were big ones and little ones.

akwaman
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Re: Tracking tagged sharks
akwaman   2/18/2013 2:10:41 PM
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If the International community would take action against whalers and enforce the laws agreed on by the International community, then there would be a lot more whales to see.  Sure, whale cruises where you see no whales.  That has to tell you something.

This is great technology, the tricky part is attaching enough beacons to every shark. A step in the right direction.

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