December 31, 2009 7:52 AM
Australian lifeguards will soon get text messages when Great White sharks swim near the beaches they are patrolling.
Researchers are electronically tagging the man-eating predators with GPS units which will constantly monitor their movements.
If the sharks then get too near to a beach a satellite receiver will automatically send out emails and text messages to wildlife officials and lifeguards.
Currently 74 white sharks have been tagged and there are 20 communications-equipped monitoring stations have been installed off the Perth coast.
Bosses say they hope the network will "provide timely alerts of tagged sharks' presence close to beaches" -- obviously this is unless the lifeguard is busy playing a game on his phone at the time. Australian Department of Fisheries’ Senior Research Scientist Dr Rory McAuley said: "With more monitors installed we have improved chances of hearing from tagged sharks, when they are around.
"Although sharks are being tagged to improve our understanding of the risk of attacks, it is also important that beachgoers are advised of detections."