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Shark Cafés

Stanford University’s Barbara Block and colleagues set up acoustic receivers to track sharks throughout the northern Pacific. Fixed buoy receivers and mobile Wave Gliders alert the researchers—and users of the new iPhone/iPad app Shark Net—when a tag

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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Stanford University’s Barbara Block and colleagues set up acoustic receivers to track sharks throughout the northern Pacific. Fixed buoy receivers and mobile Wave Gliders alert the researchers—and users of the new iPhone/iPad app Shark Net—when a tagged animal comes within 1,000.

Block equates her study sites to predatory fast food restaurants. “We’ve got MacDonald’s here,” she says. “We’re using a combination of technologies to help us explore the world beneath the sea at these hotspots. We’re wiring up, literally with Wi-Fi, these cafes.”

With the data they collect, the researchers are hoping to learn more about these mysterious predators, including where they go in the summer months and how they interact with members of their own species.

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