A wireless ocean-based network developed to track the mysterious journeys of marine animals has just detected its first great white shark, a female measuring about 18 feet long. The network, which is comprised of a self-propelled solar-power robot called a Wave Glider (below), data receivers, fixed buoys and acoustic tags on sharks, is part of Stanford University's Blue Serengeti Initiative designed to observe and better manage ocean ecosystems.
In an email, the initiative's director Barbara Block wrote, "This very brave yellow glider successfully transmitted a detection of its first white shark: White Shark 62141." Block, who is also a professor of marine sciences biology at Stanford University, and her team envision a "wired ocean," where Wi-Fi hotspots in the form of moored buoys and floating robots detect the movements of marine animals that have been tagged.
ANALYSIS: Top 5 Shark Intern Jobs
Currently, the network is small, just off the California coast near San Francisco, extending between Monterey Bay and Tomales Point. But eventually, Block wants to extend the network down the west coast of North America to monitor the activity of a range of marine animals, from salmon to sharks.