Sharks swimming in the waters off Australia, equipped with tracking tags are now able to send tweets warning swimmers and surfers of their presence. Scientists have tagged 320 large sharks of Western  Australia. When the animals swim with in a kilometer of the beaches a warning is sent to the Surf Life Saving Western Australia’s Twitter feed. All tagged sharks, many of them Great Whites are able to send these messages warning surfers and swimmers that it may not be safe to go into the water that day.

On Saturday a tweet was sent out reading, “Fisheries advise: tagged Bronze whaler shark detected at Garden Island (north end) receiver at 06:0700 AM on 27-Dec-2013.” Another tweet sent only at 2pm ET warned swimmers that a tiger shark was detected at Mullaloo South. The Twitter page has more than 14,000 followers and the hope is by sending out real time warnings bathers will be able to make a more informed decision as to whether or not they will enter the water.

Speaking with Sky News, Chris Peck from SLSWA said in the past when a shark was spotted near a beach humans frequent, “You might not have got some information until the following day, in which case the hazard has long gone and the information might not be relevant. Now it’s instant information and really people don’t have an excuse to say we’re not getting the information, it’s about whether you are searching for it and finding it.”

Despite the hype, a shark attack on a human is a rare event. It is even more rare for that attack to be fatal however in November Australia saw its sixth fatal attack in only two years when surfer Chris Boyd was killed. In addition to the tagged shark program the government of Australia had its own plan in regards to keeping surfers safe from sharks and making sure tourists are not afraid to visit beaches. Using bait hooks a kilometer off popular beaches fishermen are authorized to kill any shark longer than three-meters.

The plan is a controversial one. Those who oppose it say authorizing fishermen to shoot and kill sharks will not guarantee a reduction in attacks on humans. Some states in Australia have already begun to implement the shark-killing plan. The tags the tweeting sharks are fitted with are said to last 10 years.