Coast KZN

13 Feb 2019

Automated shark spotting on the cards

ANA Reporter (IOL: The Mercury) Picture: Discovery Channel via AP

DURBAN – The Shark Spotters programme in Cape Town has launched a new research project to create an automated system that would use a low-cost computer-aided algorithm on fixed cameras at beaches to enhance safety, the city council said yesterday .

Shark Spotters, funded by the City of Cape Town and Save Our Seas Foundation, has improved safety, recording more than 2 500 shark sightings since 2004.

The development of the automated system would help overcome some of the limitations the programme experiences, including the need for natural elevation such as mountains and the potential for human fatigue and error.

However, the system will not replace the current spotters.

“Shark Spotters has been at the forefront of sustainable shark-bite mitigation measures worldwide since 2004,” said Cape Town mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt.

The research project will run for 18 months and is funded under the Eurostars programme, an international scheme that supports innovative ­projects.