Pilot program for "Clever Buoy" early warning of sharks near coast proposed

Differentiates between sharks and porpoises
Posted at 7:00 PM, Sep 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-22 22:28:10-04

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) -- A California congressman is hoping to get an early warning system for sharks that's currently being used in Australia, tried out here.  U. S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-48th Dist.) has proposed a demonstration project off Corona del Mar.

Buoys would be deployed, with specialized sonar devices trailing below, sending alerts to lifeguards on their smartphones. 

The buoys would be able to "differentiate between a porpoise and a shark, between a stingray and a shark."

Congressman Rohrabacher needs to raise $2-million for his "Clever Buoy" pilot program, then hopes to see it expand to protect popular beaches from Ventura to San Diego.

 "There will be primo areas that say, 'Hey, we want people from all over the world to enjoy our coastline; to know it's safe to come here," Rohrabacher said. 

He'd need many permits from the state, county, and local jurisdictions and a lot of financial backing; both public and private.

Two Solana Beach surfers like the idea.  Dylan Kaiser told 10News,  "Crucial surveillance for lifeguards across the water; see which direction the shark is swimming, too, so I think it'd be great!"

Austin Killeen added, "I think this could be a great thing for surfers and even swimmers because it's always a concern. It's good to know you're safe while you're out there.'

Target date for the test: Labor Day 2018.