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Preventing Shark Attacks? There’s An App For That



Great white shark attacks are on the rise. Over the past decade, an average of about 6 unprovoked attacks took place every year in North American waters, more than 5-times as many annual attacks as occurred during the 20th century.

Can technology stem the red tide?

The Marine Conservation Science Institute hopes so. Or at least the small California nonprofit hopes to use technology to better inform ocean enthusiasts about the big fish lurking offshore.

This month the institute released Expedition White Shark, an iPhone and iPad app that tracks a dozen great whites currently swimming Pacific Ocean between Oregon and Mexico.

The app tracks sharks whose dorsal fins have been tagged with transmitters. Every time a shark “fins,” or approaches the surface, the shark’s location is updated by satellite, provided there is a satellite somewhere overhead.

Needless to say, this app isn’t a foolproof tool to ward off shark attacks, but it’s a cool application of technology and a great way to raise awareness about a species not so much threatening as it is threatened.

More appropriate might be an app to track unlicensed shark fisherman trawling the Pacific. As of this time there is unfortunately no app for that.

Expedition White Shark can be purchased at the App Store for $3.99.

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