Stanford Researchers Develop Real-Time Shark-Tracking App

PALO ALTO (KCBS) – Is a fear of sharks keeping you out of the ocean? No need to stay on land anymore, now that marine biologists at Stanford University have developed a free app for iPhones and iPads that tells you, in real time, exactly where Jaws is.

In all, Stanford researchers have tagged 120 Great Whites and a handful of smaller sharks and fish that roam California’s coastline with electronic chips that beam data to strategically-placed buoys that have similarly been fitted with sensors by the Stanford team.

KCBS’ Jeffrey Schaub Reports:

Unlike tagging devices of years past, which transmitted data via satellite, these new Stanford chips transmit data via acoustic “ping.” The cost difference is also substantial: several thousand dollars for the traditional tagging devices, versus several hundred dollars for the new acoustic devices.

“What’s going on in our back yard is we have sharks, such as the white sharks, gathering in what really are the Outback Steakhouses of the white shark world,”Stanford marine sciences professor Barbara Block explained what she has learned. “They’re in very localized locations in small points out there.”

“We’re now listening in at the steakhouse,” she continued. “The places where they’re going to forage for seals.”

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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