New automated shark-detection project launched in Cape Town

Image: iStock

Image: iStock

The research project will run for 18 months and is funded under the Eurostars programme.

The Shark Spotters programme in Cape Town is launching a new research project aimed at creating an automated shark-spotting system that will use a low-cost computer-aided algorithm on fixed cameras at beaches to enhance safety, said the city council on Tuesday.

Shark Spotters, funded by the city of Cape Town and the Save Our Seas Foundation, has significantly improved safety at beaches in Cape Town, recording over 2,500 shark sightings since its inception in 2004.

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

The automated system will, however, not replace spotters employed in Cape Town, but rather assist them with more reliable and accurate shark detection.

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

“We are excited by the new possibilities that this automated shark-spotting research project presents and hope it will result in a system that enhances shark safety at beaches across the city.”

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

– African News Agency

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