Tonight with Lester Podcast

Automated shark spotting


Guest : Sarah Waries | CEO at Sharkspotters | After 15 years of using shark spotters to successfully reduce the risk of shark bites in Cape Town, the Shark Spotters programme is launching a new research project aimed at creating an automated shark spotting system that will enhance their pioneering sustainable shark safety service. Field work for the project has begun on Fish Hoek beach and involves collecting footage of sharks for analysis and development of the cutting-edge detection algorithm software. While footage of live sharks is collected where possible, a decoy shark is also being used due to the sporadic and unreliable nature of shark sightings. Environmental and experimental variables are recorded during the data collection in order to assess their impact on the ability of the software to detect sharks, and to compare results to the effectiveness of the current human-based spotting system in place.

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