Subscribe

Wave Glider Robot Observes Great White Highway

'Shark Net' app lets users detect tagged animals

By Cassie Ryan
Epoch Times Staff
Created: August 16, 2012 Last Updated: August 19, 2012
Related articles: Science » Inspiring Discoveries
Print E-mail to a friend Give feedback

The bright yellow, seven-foot long Wave Glider and fixed buoys will transmit data from tagged animals between Monterey Bay and Tomales Point. (Kip Evans)

The bright yellow, seven-foot long Wave Glider and fixed buoys will transmit data from tagged animals between Monterey Bay and Tomales Point. (Kip Evans)

A solar-powered surfing robot off the California coast is producing acoustic live feeds of important marine animals like great white sharks to raise awareness of the ocean wilderness.

Called Wave Glider, the robot is part of the “Blue Serengeti Initiative,” which follows on from Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP). The project tracked over 4,000 migrating animals, like whales, turtles, and seabirds, and found the North American West Coast to be a significant hotspot for animals journeying through the Pacific.

Key locations have been identified for a network of detection buoys that link to tags on animals passing up to 1,000 feet away which researchers and the public can tune into.

“My mission is to protect ocean biodiversity and the open sea,” said research leader Barbara Block at the University of Stanford in a press release.

Block hopes the area will become a United Nations World Heritage Site. “This place is one of the last wild places left on Earth,” she said.

“Our goal is to use revolutionary technology that increases our capacity to observe our oceans and census populations, improve fisheries management models, and monitor animal responses to climate change.”

The network could eventually cover the entire west coast of North America, tracking a range of animals from young salmon to mako sharks.

The app will notify users when a white shark passes within 1,000 feet or so of a listening device. (Stanford University)

The app will notify users when a white shark passes within 1,000 feet or so of a listening device. (Stanford University)

A free, highly interactive app called “Shark Net” connects users with the great whites, and identify passing sharks with images showing their unique markings and fin shapes.

“People realize this is important, but it’s hard for them to connect on a visceral, personal level to the incredible biodiversity in their own backyard,” said researcher Randall Kochevar, also at Stanford, in the release.

“Through this app, we’re able to put the Blue Serengeti right in their hands.”

“They can follow individual sharks and learn about their lives and feeding habits.”

A related documentary called “Great White Highway” will air on the U.S. Discovery Channel’s Shark Week at 9 p.m. local time on Aug. 16.

Download the app here.

The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Follow Cassie Ryan, EpochTimesSci & EpochTimesSpace on Twitter

Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EpochTimesSci & Youtube: www.youtube.com/EpochTimesSci

Please send any feedback to qa.science@epochtimes.com




   

GET THE FREE DAILY E-NEWSLETTER


Selected Topics from The Epoch Times

Chinese Regime in Crisis