Reunion Shark Controversy

The second shark attack in two weeks sparks decision to cull sharks in protected area

| posted on August 07, 2012

Friends, family, and fellow surfers gather at a memorial for Alexander Rassiga, who was killed by a shark in Reunion just a week ago. Photo: Blivet

Two days ago, an unidentified man in his 40s became the second shark attack victim on Reunion Island in two weeks. According to reports, the man’s hand and foot were severed while he was surfing in a marine reserve near St. Leu on Sunday. The man was able to make his way to shore on his own and is expected to survive his injuries.

Over the course of the past 13 months, three surfers have been killed by sharks on the island. The news of the latest attack has reignited a debate on the island surrounding a proposal to pay local fisherman to kill sharks in the marine reserve.

The marine reserve on the island was put in place five years ago to protect the coral reefs that surround the popular tourist destination.

Following the attack last week that claimed the life of 22-year-old surfer Alexandre Rassica, the mayor of St. Leu, Thierry Robert, authorized local fishermen to hunt sharks in the marine reserve. However, the announcement drew a wave of criticism from around the world and resulted in Mayor Robert withdrawing the decision, stating that he would turn the problem over to the French. But following today’s attack, in an interview with radio station Antenn Reunion, Mayor Robert alluded that he would open up the marine reserve to shark culling.

“[The attack] was foreseeable,” he told the radio station. “I have been asking for action for several weeks. Once again this has happened in the marine reserve. People need to take responsibility.” He was cited as saying that the St. Leu Town Hall would go on to take immediate action.

In the aftermath of the most recent attack, it’s been reported that 300 surfers demonstrated in front of the local police station on the island, demanding that the shark population be thinned in the area.

Additionally, Reuters recently released a story confirming that local fishermen will indeed be hired to cull an estimated 20 sharks in the reserve.

What’s your take? Should the local government begin hunting sharks? Leave your opinion in the comments section below.

Mourning Alexander Rassiga. Photo: Blivet

Reunion Island surfers and ocean goers gather to demand that something be done about the recent shark attacks. Photo: Blivet

A Reunion Island local shows solidarity with the area's fallen surfers. Photo: Blivet



  • Ozzzzy

    I feel sharks nets around certain surf spots would be more necassary than killing off a bunch of sharks for doing what they do.

  • craig

    its their environment ….people don’t have to be in there….its just the chance one takes to pursue what they love to do…..i have lost many friends to gr8 white sharks but it was their choice to surf dangerous waters… comes down to choice not the shark its only acting on its instinct in its home environment….everybody wants to kill everything they dislike rather than understanding the true cause……this is just my humble opinion and i surf….

  • kathy

    Every single time we step foot into the ocean, we are in THEIR home. It’s a tragedy what has happened but there are other places to surf and play in the waters. We always take the risk. There is no reason to start killing these creatures unless a study proves they have taken over the environment.

  • Zane Colquhoun

    Completely agree with Robert Evans. This is a case of human beings not respecting the ocean. When has mans intervention ever resulted in positive change in regards to Wildlife / Oceanlife. All we ever do is screw it up more.

    I too have surfed around Sharks, respect them and their space, no one gets hurt.

  • francisco mora

    these guys call themselves “surfer” but really are a bunch of selfish.
    without respect to the environment or the ocean.
    the true surfer left undisturbed his element and goes surfiar safer place to another without harming anyone.
    the witch hunt mentality as archaic and medieval.
    shark free.

  • eric

    I am from Reunion Island, they are too much bull shark here, because nobody fishing them since 20 year ago. And organize a marine reserve in the main beach (many children and many tourist people). It’s too much risky for. The situation is not mormal too much attack in a short time and on 10km of coast. We organize also sharc spotter since 2month, but is not enouth. please take rigth information before give your judgment. Thanks

  • Sean

    If everytime a human being killed another human being, would it be OK to then go on a killing rampage against all people who lived in that area? Makes no sense, as if uselessly killing a few sharks is going to rid the world of shark attacks. We are all afraid of getting bitten, but that’s a chance we all take if you want to surf in the ocean. I hope no-one gets stung by a jelly fish overthere or else we might have to manhunt and kill them all as well.

  • Ryan

    Humans confuse me- so the ocean is the sharks home thats why we cant kill them right, cause it’s “their territory”. What ever happened to the rights of Lions, tigers, wolves, bears etc, seeing as they were around first, and we invaded “their territory”. If a bear moved to a park near your house and killed someone, who would leave it to do what it does naturally?!
    Not saying killing sharks is the right answer, just pointing out our convenient double standards.

  • Tim King

    You have to remember, at one time, we (humans) took over some land which eventually killed off some kind of animal that was using the land we now live on. These are human lives at stake. We should NEVER put a animal life over a human one. These surfers who lost their lives have family, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. By reducing the number of sharks here by no means puts a dent in their population but in return may save a life. They need to be controlled. So before all you animal activist get your panties in a knot, remember, where ever you live, you killed off and animal to live there. Nuff said!

  • Ilberto

    We are in their terretory, to kill them it’s like genocide, the surfers should try something else, beside the sharks take care of the ocean, they eat the sick, the over populated sea creatures etcetc, by killing them you would have an on balans in the eco system. Leave them it’s their space!

  • Abraham Eduardo

    es una lastima que estas personas hayan perdido su vida haciendo lo que más aman en el lugar que más adoran , pero tenemos que entender que el océano NO NOS PERTENECE, que es el hogar de los tiburones nos guste o no , así que tenemos que asumir las consecuencias de nuestras acciones, lo más sensato es que se advierta a los surfistas que están en una zona de alta peligrosidad, tenemos que respetar, aceptemoslo, los tiburones no andan por la isla buscando a quien comerse así que es ilógico que los maten cuando nosotros estamos en su hogar.

  • Anna M K

    Robert Evans, don’t please go capitals on anyone. Speak your mind not GO MOUTH OPEN LIKE IN HIGH School.
    Its such hard topic to talk about it, and most of us are not even there in that far far land and waters. I did swim around sharks but they are the one who don’t care much for you and are not aggressive. The Riff shark. Go to Australia and deal with great white or bull and that you see different animal, but water is they home and we need to fin the way to deal with the very unique activity of sharks in this area. Sharks use to stay away, why now they are so close to the land? Before you judge ask yourself what would you do if you would live there and not in cozy CA or NY or OR etc..apt or home? And don’t attack surfer’s there, they are already on shark’s menu.

  • Airdrop76

    shame on us.

    Sorry for the people who died… but really?

  • julie Reichow

    We are in the “Sharks”. Territory. They should not in anyway be killed. There must must be another way!

  • Rob

    Dead-on, Abraham Eduardo.

  • paraisotaka

    It’s a delicate issue since so many lives are arleady victimized.
    Start hunting them is like a declaring war, but it’s a human logic, sharks have no idea why they were targeted.
    I feel human should “look after” but not “control” the environment.

  • Whamo

    Move those sharks to Lowers. That should cut down the crowds.

  • David

    There is a fundamental reason behind the increase in shark attacks around the globe. There have even been a number of attacks in areas recently where sharks had not been seen before (Russia). Until we realise the cause there will be no relief. Its simply that we are overfishing, the sharks are following their food. Either the seals have moved to find fish, followed by sharks (Russia, Australia) or the lack of fish has meant the sharks are heading to the reefs to catch smaller, immature fish that reside there, or they head to reserves (the only place where fish of a decent size live). So, until we stop plundering the ocean, we will continue to have shark problems, and in Reuinion, there will always be sharks coming into the reefs, no matter how many you cull.

  • jan key

    all i hear is a bunch of tree hugging Greenpeace wannabe’s yes to sharks no to oil f*^7K this F&%$K that … if something … or someone threatens me on my turf… i say take em out… there is a lot of coast line that is not suitable for surfing… or hadn’t you noticed??? sharks have steered clear of waters that are a danger or menace to them for eons… when the threat lifts they return in time…. if you lived in a village and tigers were taking your people out what would you do… world full of chickenshits

  • teddy3

    no! do not kill animals because they are interfering with our desire to enter their environment. True surfers would not want any marine life harmed.

  • zazza

    Donate them to aquariums? no? anyone?

  • getit

    okay, everyone knows sharks are a vital part of the ecosystem/stewards of our supply of delicious fish and overfishing them would be devastating, BUT, they are also intelligent creatures who learn quickly to stay away from things and areas that can hurt them. its true that all of life is a food chain and each part of the chain depends on the other, but for those of us living in much sharkier locales, sometimes its the sharks who need to know whose on top of the chain. you wouldn’t let a pack of wild dogs run around in your neighborhood, but then again the people complaining about this probably don’t live in places where wild dogs are a problem.

  • Jess

    Absolutely not. Humans kill on average 100 million sharks per year, while in turn an average of 5 people per year die as a result of a shark attack. Given those numbers, who’s the real predator? Sharks are not our enemy. Millions of people enter the oceans daily, and the low number of shark attacks proves that they are not after us. If they wanted to eat humans, they would. Sharks keep the ocean healthy. If society continues to make them out as the enemy, a threat, and a blood hungry predator, then we’re all in danger.

    Sharks are the rulers of our oceans, over two-thirds of our planet. Don’t mess with them, if you do, who you’re really messing with is our earth and humanity.

    All words are mine and to not be reused without my consent

  • jan key

    i take it all back… i will never eat anything that has been alive… let alone from the ocean …. heaven forbid….. only vegetables that have died a natural death… you know … like your brains

  • Cwan

    No, they can’t go hunt the sharks, that makes no sense!!! We are in the sharks territory, they live in the ocean, they have a right to defend themselves or hunt for food, just as we do on land. The attacks were tragic, but it doesn’t validate a right for us to kill sharks because we need more room for entertainment. This is exactly how we are destroying our planet.

  • boug

    Just to make it clear, I live in Reunion, I am a surfer and I am not for the hunt, and as every surfer should I know I take a risk when I go to the water. BUT there is a shark probleme here, we had 9 attacks in 18 month on a pretty small area.

    Too much surfers are for the hunt, too much non surfers think surfers should stop surfing as “water is the shark territory” and in the end no one here can take the time to think to an eco frindly long term solution. thierry Robert sucks, the guy as no idea what he is doing, people here are starting to be ones against the others, it’s pretty sad, I feel in the middle, like a traitor. And as a Reunionais and a surfer I am pretty ashamed of what we are doing here, just like we had no brains. I understand why most of you consider us as cowards or fools

  • niko

    its simplee. if there is something stronger than us we should go for it.

  • Darren

    What a ridicules decision to kill the sharks, and from a fellow surfer that surfs false bay in Cape town where there are LOTS of dangerous Great Whites, we all surf knowing what might happen and accept this when entering the water… Those 300 surfers who demonstrated for this type of action shouldn’t call themselves surfers and should rather take up cycling… How disappointing….

  • mat reunion island

    stop saying that, u dont know what s happening here, more than 40s of surfing and in one year 4 shark attak 4 death and 3 or 4 mutilation, is it normal? we don t want to kill all the shark but only bulldog who are living here now because of human laws who created that. french country is the second exportator for shark food, they still fish a shark for food who is protected. who cares? so we just try to keep the balance between us. Why in austarlia after a shark attack, in the hour following they go fishing, and they are ecologist? no.
    so think about that. thanks

  • Cyril

    Ex surfer, scuba and apnea diver, living in reunion island.
    A few days ago, the 18 month baby of a friend of mine saw a surfer filmed from underwater and said : “turtle! turtle!”… what more to say?
    Those attacks are a big problem, and here we all know a friend or a family member of the victims, when not the victims itself. The debate is emotionally and politicaly charged, but i know that we are going to find a middle and efficient solution.

  • jose nz

    “With power comes great responsibility”

    one surfer dies we turn into primates plead slaughter

    millions or sharks die every year at the hands of unsustainable fishing practices and we turn a blind eye,

    sharks are just trying to survive in their own environment which we are destroying

    surfers no the risks and voluntarily accept them by entering the water

    maybe its time humans learnt they cant have everything they want

  • Carys Griffiths

    Im very disappointed to read that there is support from the local surfers on this cull. Sharks have more right to be there than we do. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. What will happen when they do kill them all? What next? Kill the rest of the sharks that swim into the area? It’s barbaric!!! I can’t understand how a more reasonable explanation hasn’t come to the surface. Shame on whoever agrees and supports this idiotic move. Yes, shark attacks are horrific and tragic, but surely there’s a more reasonable conclusion!!! And, Tim King; “they need to be controlled”??? You want to try and control a whole species of wild animal? Good luck with that one, I think you’re on your own there…

  • william

    sharklovers are a pest and should be hunted.
    here in Recife-brazil, they manipulate all the shark attack statistics hiding the incidents and deaths to protect tourism.
    Last year 3 reported dead (confirmed attacks) simply do not appear in the world shark attack map, and many other with 50 cm. bites all over the body were reported as “supposedly drowned”.
    the population control over a 10km strech (reunion) or 30 km strech (Recife) will definetely NOT estinguish the specimen, but prevent human deaths.
    is a shame that this kind of “ecologists” keep repeating this “mantras”, the problem with the shark population is the comercial fishing and finning, why don´t they fight against that ???

  • Alejandro nava

    When you surf, you learn to respect the ocean. When you respect the ocean, you learn to respect nature. When you respect nature, u learn to respect life. When you respect life, your learn to respect people. When you respect people, you learn to live in harmony. If you live in harmony, you will be happy. Han Samoa, Tamarin Bay, Mauritius. There are many place where we can be on risk! Probably for a big reef, probably for environment contamination made from human, in accident with a f&$:$: crazy guy on boat! And shark too! But it is not the reason to be crossing their home! There are many beach with the same problem! But only you can choice what to do! Go surf! Or keep lay down on the sand!

  • dgcova

    Hey guys… makes no sense, both kill sharks and put nets…….as it was said….we’re on their habitat…..

  • Great White North

    Kill em’ all. When they lose their fear of man it’s time to act.

  • jim

    the last surfer is a well know ,and very good surfer fabien bujon which lives in réunion for long long time and also is familly are surfers( how can they says is an unidentified) ,never get problems with this local man it’s a shame that people thinks we are dick heads because surfing in late afternoon ;thanks god the guy is alive for him and his familly and friends over the world ;hope you ‘re gonna recovered soon in you’re mind my friend and keep on going for life

  • Sheila

    Put a drop of the chemical A-2 (derived from extracts of dead sharks) in the reserve. Testing has shown that sharks flee far away as a biological survival mechanism.

    Tests have found the repellent effective on three species: the Caribbean reef, blacknose and lemon sharks. Studies are needed on other species such as the great white, mako and oceanic whitetip.

    Gruber said the repellent seems to carry a chemical messenger that triggers a flight reaction. He said more studies are needed to pinpoint the active molecule among a dozen or so.

  • Get real

    Wow really? Seems the surfers in Reunion need to stop acting like a bunch of monkeys still living in caves. EVERY time you go surf you are leaving land, and stepping into an environment that is not yours. You become a lower part of the food chain. If you don’t like this fact…DONT SURF. Going and killing a bunch of sharks doesn’t do anything….in fact it hurts the local eco system more than anything. I surf in sharky waters all the time. Great white waters. If attacked I wouldn’t hold it against the shark, as I am a guest in his house. Do the surfers in Reunion really think that killing a few sharks will stop attacks?

    I’m starting to think that islands surfer population are morons. But by all means keep acting like an angry mob going after frankenstein. Looks real good.

  • Mike

    Kill the sharks. Absolutely. I have no problem with that.

  • dave

    30 to 70 million sharks are killed in fisheries each year. I’m sorry, but if you really want to kill even more sharks because you’re scared to get in the water. Dude…

  • urmom

    this is about the saddest thing I have ever seen…..the reefs at reunion are pretty close to fucked already getting rid of the top predators will likely push the ecosystem over the edge….have fun creating the new oahu you fucking idiots

  • Choney

    put a boxing glove on the tip of a spear gun, aim for the nose. They’ll learn.

  • jan key

    had an interesting evening with some mates discussing these views…. and laughed til i cried… read all the tree hugger views as if you were in a cheech-n-chong movie and had just shared a bong or two…. “dude …like they are so noble man… etc .. etc…
    those big critters are smart and if they find an easier food source they will adapt to it… seals are so much faster and socal surfers taste like chicken!

  • marc

    YOU ARE MISINFORMED ,the last shark attack occured at 5.20 pm IN WINTER SWELL PUMPING and the sunset is at 6 PM .

    Surfers in the morning ran out of the water ,saying the water was dark ,muddy .

    The attack on Alexandre (RIP brotha’) was after several beachs closed du to the release of muddy shit in water (water analysis) close to 3 bassins spot .

    The behavior of surfers must change :if they keep asking for culling we get the whole scientific community against us and politics follow the scientific community . Sharks have been there since day one .The local population is becoming upset with the two Reunion “surfers against sharks associations “who keep on saying “sharks must be hunted and a marine sanctuary opened ” .
    This is illogical ,surfing is being part of the process and when you don’t have to surf ,you don’t .

  • once a( reunion island )surfer

    i live in Reunion island ,surfing for 35 years here ,since 1977 .And for the first time of my life,i don’t want to be called a “reunion local surfer” .I’m ashamed of what my mates do ,it’s just emotions ,it’s just hate-violence-insulting people who think differently .This is not hé nenalu .It’s localism and territorialism…And the so called “locals” meets the real locals ,the ones with sharp teeth.
    Business as usual for shark hunters:2 Bucks the kilo of shark ,and one bull is around 200 kgs . sad but true .


    We have the same problem in Recife -Brazil , around 300 sharkattacks in the last 20 years by the same agressive shark specie !! 54 confirmed by the local oficial institutions( almost surfers)!
    we have clamed for fish efforts , but the sharklovers combat all ours purpose!!please if someone could contact us to share the experience in Reunion island it would be very promissor to save lifes( not only surfers ) in our beach! thanks!

  • Alanna Kriz

    This is absolutely ridiculous! Are those 300 ‘surfers’ for real? A real surfer respects the ocean and sees how special it is. sharks were there millions of years before us, where the hell did we get the right to kill them? We are entering into THEIR territory, and should assume the risks involved.

  • Twon

    Been living in reunion for the past 3 years, and these losers don’t want anything to disrupt their peaceful paradise. Remember everyone that these are the same people that like to use live dogs and cats as bait for fishing. These guys here dont give a shit about animals, and most certainly not sharks. Disgraceful.

  • Allen

    Anyone calling for a mass “Shark Culling” is nuts. The ocean is their territory, not ours. We, as surfers, should understand and respect the power of the ocean and its inhabitants. Do the lives of a few surfers outweigh the unmeasurable number of sharks that will be killed as a result of this call to action? That doesn’t suggest that the lives of the victims aren’t valuable, all life is valuable. The fact is, they were here first, not us. Fair game. Additionally, a drastic change in the shark population could severely impact the natural order of the ocean. My $0.02. Who wants to be responsible for that? We’re already doing our best to ruin the ocean with pollutants and garbage, why don’t we go ahead and start killing off the animals who live there as well. Plus if we kill off too many sharks, what would we all watch during Shark Week?

  • jan key

    accept it…. befriend a boogieboarder and take him surfing with you.. have fun … paddle fast

  • J

    Hmmm, who was in the ocean first? Sharks or humans, easy answer. It’s unfortunate that people are getting bit but we are in their territory, it’s a risk we all take when we get wet. People get killed in cars….LET’S ERRADICATE CARS! That’s what would happen if we followed the logic that some of the Re. locals are thinking.

  • http://terra ARTHUR TAVARES

    we have the same problem in Recife_Brazil since 1992 ( 56 oficial victims / 150- 300 estimated extra-oficially)
    we know the sharklovers actions sequence ( academic lyrics )
    contact us
    save the humans on the beach
    save the sharks in open sea
    facebook : arthur tavares ( recife brasil)
    e-mail :

  • Greg

    I live in réunion island. Here is some math:
    On this part of the coast of 20km long, since the stone age to 2006 , 0 shark attak
    Since from 2006 to 2011-: 2 attaks, no death
    since 2011- 7 attaks, 3 death. (one guy was complétly eaten, never found the deadbody, 5m away from the shore, in the middle of most crowded beah of the island)

    Sharks where there before, but not in this area, something have changed quikly. And the only thing that have changed is the marine reserve since 2007.
    Bull sharks have their territorry. Before the marine reserve the underwater fishermen use to keep them away. Now they are coming more often. We don’t want to kill sharks, we just want to keep them away, like before.

    Reunion became the most dangerous place to surf in the world !

  • lorenzo

    Live in armony, respect the ocean, respect the flowers, respect the sharks pfff…Bullshits. They kill us. We kill them. Simple natural rule.
    I love surfing and I hate getting in the water all the time with the thought that I might get out off the water with a chopped piece of body.
    Live in Perth, News every week talking about sharks spotted around your home spot. Sure You’ll change your mind…

  • Scott

    It’s their habitat and if we want to coexist as surfers and scuba divers with sharks then we need to take safety precautions. If surfing or diving in shark risk areas Shark Shields are proven from user testimonials to prevent shark attack. Check out the website, read the testimonials and then take your safety into your own hands. A Shark Shield should be like a car seat belt!

  • Scott

    @Mat reunion island Aug 8
    Quoted “Why in austarlia after a shark attack, in the hour following they go fishing, and they are ecologist? no. so think about that. thanks”

    You are actually incorrect Mat… I live in Perth, Western Australia. In the last 10 months we have had 10 fatal shark attacks and there is no rush to cull any sharks. Although locals are concerned most are sensible enough to understand the ecology and the local government is looking to our scientists to understand why there has been a spike in attacks before any such actions are taken to cull sharks. White Pointers are protected in Australia and remain so still today.

  • S3

    I’m rather shocked to hear of fellow surfers calling for shark slaughter.

  • Mike McBride

    Start the culling! 20 sharks removed from the line-up at St. Leu will do nothing to impact the environment. We cull deer, Pig, goat, rabbit, not only to protect ourselves, but the environment. Just because it is an awesome thing that lives in the ocean doesn’t mean that our hands are tied. when you start putting animals on the same level as humans (Robert Evans comment) your logic is absurd. Man is the steward of this planet. animals are not. I think it is very unlikely that the sharks are getting together and wondering how they can coexist with other forms of life.
    I say do some fishing and in 3 years when they get too thick do some more fishing. The ocean is not their world. the ocean is part of our world, for which we are responsible, not only to the sharks, but the surfers that are in danger.

  • kevin f

    I have never seen such a bunch of eco-fairies,time to kill them all -send them back to the dinosaur age where they belong,anybody who believes 100 million
    sharks are being killed annually is the same fool who believes in global warming! The sea level should be washing newport beach away by now,….Righhhhht!

  • iay

    Sharks only eat kooks

  • phil hart

    I personally dont think you can kill enough of them.Most people who want them protected dont surf

  • MIke

    I am very sorry for your losses, but please don’t act in fear. Reunion, you are better than this. We choose to be in their world. Please respect all life. 40,000,000 sharks are slaughtered for their fins every year. As surfers we have a duty to not be a part of senseless killings.

  • Gene

    Sharks have no natural predators and our protection of their natural food sources have allowed their populations to increase. This imbalance needs to be corrected and it appears shark culling is the best solution.

  • Aza

    Its not about culling sharks as most of them aren’t a danger to us. Its about culling the dangerous species of shark ie great white, tiger or bull, that i would support. To do a cull and kill a whole bunch of smaller reef sharks will achieve nothing and further deplete the food source of the larger predators possibly leading to an increased chance of attacks on humans. Agree with Gene that there appears to be a large imbalance in the ocean and it is our responsibility to correct it. Its unfair on all the other marine creatures to have a large explosion in predators due to humans protecting them but not things lower on the food chain.

  • Rocky

    We have to think about the facts and act accordingly. Same thing is happening with the Lion fish, the green iguanas, monkeys and so on. The life of person is worth more than a billion yes, I strongly agree with fishing them out and not 20, but 20,000.

  • Rick

    Each year, humans kill 70,000,000 sharks, mainly to sell their dried fins to Hong Kong traders. How many humans do sharks kill?

  • Rick

    Greg, from Reunion Island, this is what has changed.

    There are more surfers and more people going into the water, therefore more exposure to sharks and therefore more shark attacks.

    You can kill all the sharks, then you will have to figure out a way to prevent drownings.

  • Justin James

    Until people lose their fear of death, manipulation and control is the only way for comfort in the environment they live. We kill anything that gets in our way be it cultures that lived in harmony with the earth for centuries or weeds that threaten our manicured lawn. This isn’t about sharks vs humans this is just another example of the devolution of the human race as a whole. Soon we will finish the job and destroy the host as the cancer we have become. Why would surfers be any different by the way? We chase the endless summer by burning fossil fuels and ride toxic boards with no end in sight. Get a clue, face the facts and your silly fears and live as truthfully as you can in your own existence. Hypocrisy is being a human…

  • Kevin

    Killer sharks need to be culled period. They can’t differentiate between humans and their food source. An animal is an animal and need to be controlled if a threat to our species. Humans will always be more important than a few fish in the sea. Time for some soup I say.

  • Jed

    “Culling” is probably not the right word to describe what should be done.If they introduced shark fishing with limited quotas to control the amount of sharks that are caught and killed then i guess it solves both sides of the arguement. Enough sharks killed to limit shark attacks and enough sharks to keep the ocean sustainable. No it wont completly stop shark attacks but it should limit them. I spose you could kill all the sharks in the world except one but thats not going to stop that one shark from killing someone.

    Im from perth WA and since the early 2000’s the fisheries over here have slowly stop shark fishing to the point where nobody does it anymore. What has happened is more shark attacks. its not rocket science. Sharks breed as do people. Great whites have been protected here since 1999 and now we are seeing the second generation of sharks starting to mature. which means more sharks. If we are going to limit shark attacks then we need to maintain a suitable level of sharks.

    Fair enough its “there” habitat or whatever but it’s etched into humans to reduce danger wherever it presents. If i see a red back spider in my house, i kill it. simple. I don’t think… hmm well it’s “there” habitat and leave it. If a snake is in my house i don’t think…hmm well it’s “there” habitat and go to bed with it in my house! So many examples and i reckon all of us at some point in our life would of reduced danger by killing something.

    So what is so wrong with shark fishing that is managed properly to the benefit of both people and the ocean? Is it that hard do? If great whites are protected forever then imagine how many will be around in 30 -40 years! I think i’d give up surfing. Someone before said that cars kill people, do we stop building cars? Well no we don’t but every year they get safer and safer to help prevent deaths in cars.

    I wish the governments had big enough balls to actually do something about his and not do the usual nothing and hope that people forget. So bring in controlled shark fishing i say. Sorry bout the long post

  • Wazza Surfs

    Reading these comments from the killers side makes me sick. Most of the so called tree huggers here are not as such, they are surfers like you and I who just respect the ocean and the environment. I have never met a surfer who would like to have a shark destroyed if it attacked them but now I know where they all live. In Reunion Island. Blah blah blah another human died. My brother was hit and killed by a speeding driver when he was 5. Do you want him killed? Probably not cos he is a person. I certainly don’t but the difference is that the driver was a man with the brains to know he was doing wrong. The Sharks are merely surviving when we have eaten all their fish. Grow up.

  • Arne von Delft, False Bay, SA

    I don’t know whether culling is the solution, but I would like to point out some inconsistencies:
    Why do we make a distinction between our land and water environment?
    I live in South Africa and all large predators have been moved to controlled areas and their numbers are closely monitored. If a lion escapes from a National Park and kills somebody it is hunted down. There is no public outcry in favour of the “king of the jungle” doing what nature programmed it to do. We are competing for the same environment and our safety comes first.
    Why are sharks different? We can’t set boundaries as easily, but we can still regulate numbers and to some extent behavior. Land predators fear humans; why would it be so bad if sharks did too? (Chumming is an unacceptable example of weaning them of any such fear).
    Saying that we don’t “belong” in the water also makes no sense – as a species we adapted thousands of years ago to survive on and in the oceans.
    The counterargument is that we should minimize any impact on and involvement with “nature”. Unfortunately 7 billion of us have left quite the irrevocable wake of destruction and it seems hypocritical to afford certain groups protection and others not (land vs water).
    Humans kill millions of sharks every year and most of these are not dangerous to humans. Now there is an outcry about controlling a few of those that are? If we are truly passionate about protecting sharks we should target the real problem, please.
    I fully support living in harmony with our environment, but that includes ocean and earth, and we need to remain consistent when defining the parameters of involvement. There is a lot of talk about respect, so let’s start with that.

  • Surf

    Time to go fishing I say. Too many sharks make anyone’s day at the beach dangerous. If it’s between my children, family, friends, or whoever; the shark, bear, tiger, human whatever dies, period. I’m not talking indiscriminate killing but selected culling to reduce the population and threat. I’m a surfer and love and respect the ocean but there’s a limit to my tolerance. People can say all they want that it’s the sharks turf so to speak, but we need to surf safe also. Nothing worse than having a hungry shark ( just a big dangerous fish ) under your board. Been there-done that one. Most of time things are cool until one day he wants a taste. Places like Reunion need t have a shark population reduced. Besides it’s a good food source for them. Just sayin.

  • javi

    It is sad to hear about the losses of these surfers…

    Regardless, it is important to remember that the attacks occurred inside a Marine Protected Area, an area set aside for the protection of marine life. Of course, if successful, these areas will return to an state similar to that of a pristine habitat, which in a coral reef means lots of sharks. So, does the people of Reunion rather keep their surfing community in the water, at the cost of compromising their conservation efforts? Further, what would be cost of such actions for the tourism industry (sharks are one of the main diver’s attractions)?
    Lots of things to consider, and not an easy decision.

    One last consideration: If somebody gets attack by a bear while hiking in a National Park, would hikers cry for bear culling?
    Remember that, we surfers, do our favorite activity in an uncontrolled natural environment. Maybe some surfers would feel more comfortable surfing on a spot protected by shark nets (as some pots recommend). Maybe some would feel even more comfortable surfing on a wave pool.
    Myself, I like to enjoy the natural environment while surfing, as much as the surfing itself.

  • Mike


  • jan key

    so many comments after so many days and they keep coming… i know where i stand and am pleased to know i am not the only person who doesn’t want a cuddle from a predator. …. i have never heard in this column the same blathering about the scientific culls of whales…. they are a peaceful creature and dont get the same ink….. the talk of millions of shark laid waste just means it is a prolific species and a cull of killers in populated areas pales in comparison to whats being done to the giants of the sea… and some of those only have numbers in the low thousands….. getting tired of being told to grow up where in fact some of you should stop contemplating the fuzz in your navel and the residue in your bong…. you are ‘not’ one with the world…

  • tough bits

    Damn Reunion Island, you messed up! You could of been like, no matter where you went, be like, “where you from?” “I’m from Reunion Island” “damn dude, you must be hardcore” Now you’re like, “oh shit, your from Reunion island..? …damn… that’s cool… i guess”

  • mr. obvious

    Sharks eat sharks. by killing sharks, your saving sharks. By saving sharks, your killing sharks. By killing those sharks, you might have soup and save those cute little babies. You don’t want anything bad happening to those babies, do you?

  • Miguel

    To many shark attack, I think is time to go after a few of them, to control the shark population.
    Humans comes first.

  • the dirt

    The stereotype of surfers being dumb confirmed.

  • Daniel

    The stereotype of eco-green-pet-zealots loving animals more than humans confirmed.

  • Ian

    Wait until one of those sharks attacks your son or daughter in 3 ft of water…..

  • Lizzie

    There most be a reason for … Killing is not the answer the time be out of the water…

  • Willem Els

    Killing the sharks implies we substitute ourselves for maintaining an ecological balance. In nature living beings act responsibly. Can we ?

  • Willem Els

    The sharks in the area should be well known and their activities monitored. The establishment of a marine reserve evidentally increased the available food in the area, hence an increase in the number of sharks. The situation has to be managed, one way or another.

  • scotty J

    Missing the point! The put a fish farm on the most populace coast of the. Island buffet for sharks! So nomadic sharks are not leaving! Thus changing the ecosystem so they need to change it back! Killing some sharks might help but not totally need to move fish farm to other easy) non surf swim coast! All the reef sharks have been chased away by the tigers and bulls of course the attacks are mistaken id like all shark attacks( so we are told) but killing. A few dozen maneaters might help!


    Protect the sea, kill a surfer.

  • Michael Christ

    I read a Comment Humans come First. Its a Nightmare to read about that Accidents, but be aware that the Ocean is the Playground of Ocean Animals like Sharks and they are the Predator in there natural Behavior, not Humans.
    I feel sad for the Familys and the Guys who been attacked, but I dive every Year in my Job with Sharks arround the World. From Tigersharsk to Bullsharks, Bluesharks and Makos and as long you respect there Behavior it is never a Problem. Killing them its not a Issue, there are People / Divers who travel arround to see Sharks. Killing the Sharks meens also to destroy a Incoming Business. Better is to keep Surfers away from Marine Reserves.. Soryr Guys I surf too, but this is our personal Risk, same as you drive Car every Day.

  • Arthur Portmann

    Great! Lets kill them, we only kill 200 Millions sharks every year, so who cares for a few more…

    Its interesting that in other places we do shark feeding to get them close, there the sharks are welcome. Its always what WE want….

    We kill them so some rich asian people have their finsoup and apparently increase their deficient libido. We exterminate a species wich is extremely important for the underwater environment and exists much much longer than our species, even not because their is a real need for it.

    There are people everywhere, how is it possible that this stupid animals do not understand that they always have to consider our needs, not to cause any damage to humans. I mean we deserve it or not?

    What Miguel says “humans first” will finally cause our extinction, we only favour things as long it is to our advantage.

    What a shame are we, aren’t we?

  • Eric

    It is tragic when any person is injured in any way from any cause and my empathy goes to the family and friends of those injured.

    That being said the oceans are the home to sharks and other aquatic species. It is not their playground it is their home. We are destroying the natural areas of the world constantly and that will eventually destroy us. Sharks are a necessary and intelligent predator.

    I was a surfer and have seen sharks in the waves with me and left the beach immediately. I used to spearfish for sport. Today I dive with my camera. I dive constantly with sharks and they are one of the most majestic things one can see anywhere and they do not bother divers but share their world with us as visitors.

    It is tragic when a shark mistakes a surfer or person on the beach for a seal or other of their normal diet but we are at their dinner table. They are not the monsters of the movie jaws and leave persons after a bite where their sophisticated sensors determine that the person is not the seal they thought. This test bite could lethal if it hits an artery creating a tragedy but a greater tragedy is created by “culling” slaughtering the innocent shark in his home. We should pick other areas for our sports.

    A marine reserve is just that, to reserve and protect the Marine Life in a natural way. That brings benefits from tourist divers bringing money to the area; it helps increase the fish population which helps the local fishermen helping the local economy; it helps education and understanding of this fragile planet. Surfing beaches can be elsewhere.

  • Arron

    It’s no wonder Sharks are having a go at people… the locals are encouraging them by offering free feed in the way of Dogs and and other pets. If people feed Sharks, Sharks will associate people with food. No brainer really.{%224592911060920%22%3A278603672255404}&action_type_map={%224592911060920%22%3A%22causes%3Asign%22}&action_ref_map=[]

  • Arron

    The locals are using Dogs and other pets as Shark bait, so of course Sharks will associate people with feeding time. Why the increase in Shark attacks? I wonder??? See the Inquisitr website for story.

  • Bonbon de sel



    The accusation comes up regularly in the mouth surfers: if the marine reserve has long refused to acknowledge his responsibility and that of the farm in the increase of shark attacks, it is stories of big bucks.
    If the information may seem a bit simplistic, study a little further file makes it possible to realize that not everything is clear with the heart of the system, often the same beneficiaries of large subsidies. Huge subsidies, can you even say!
    The farm is located in the bay of Saint-Paul was founded in 2007 thanks to large subsidies, especially European. In an article in the August 1 JIR, we say that it was a blessed time where “money glut”!
    Since then, business has declined and we talk about dying industry. Yet money continues to flow, even if it is in smaller quantities. The Arda annually receives nearly $ 2 million in grants, including 500,000 paid by the Region. With this money, she entered the capital of the SAS (simplified joint stock company) Sam in which it holds one third of the shares.
    The Arda is composed of two distinct areas: Research and development and research and development. This division essentially performs studies on techno-economic viability of marine productions in cages at the meeting and in the area. In fact, it is the SAS Sam operates in an economical seven cages installed in the bay of Saint-Paul. It produces croakers, fish disliked by Reunion. To get there, we feed the fish … with fish. In general, we know that to produce one kg of fish aquaculture farm must … 4 to 5 kg of fish killed for food use!
    Another element to take into account: the caged fish, and red drum is no exception, are victims of monogeneans which to treat with antibiotics! Antibiotics that we find in our plate and then make us resistant to the drug. Nothing will be spared!
    Turnover of Sam was 235,000 euros in 2010, which did not allow him to cover the expenses of the company, despite the fact that the maintenance costs of devices are supported by Arda. The Sam accumulated deficits anyway since its inception in 1999. In 2010, for example, the loss was 60,000 euros.
    To summarize, we have an association funded by Europe and the Region, Arda, which persists to develop marine aquaculture financing the tool and the chronic shortage of a private company, the Sat .. And that to produce a fish, croaker, disliked by Reunion, fed and cared for other fish to antibiotics! We would like to understand!
    Add to this that during an interview with Radio Festival, Pierre Bosc, the owner of the farm, acknowledged the presence of sharks to the cages, which also seemed to worry about the safety of its employees who regularly dive.
    Nothing surprising, since in an interview Sciences et Avenir in October 2011, Bernard Seret, “marine biologist, shark specialist at the Institute of Research for Development (IRD), and involved in program coordination CHARC “, stated:” There are all around cages stimuli (noise, vibration, …) that attract sharks. Statistically, there are always one or two who can get away from the farm and go on a tour of side of the reef where the bathers, some 7 kilometers away. Reunion is not an area full of fish and the coast there is much more to your teeth for a shark. So farm cages attract predators in the desert what became the Bay of Saint-Paul. however, this only serves to excite them, because they can not eat. ” Also asked about the distance between the cages of the farm and DCP areas where swimmers and surfers, he replied: these devices are located in “less than 10 km from the coast. For sharks, this distance is a sudden fin “…
    Obviously, the reason lies elsewhere …
    At the center of everything, there is Pierre Bosc, director of Arda which we have already described it remained in being kept under infusion of government subsidies. And not for small amounts!
    It was also seen, Arda also owns 30% of Sam, the company that runs the farm and is still Pierre Bosc, who is the principal, even if it is not officially. For example, Pierre Bosc which meets on the farm interviews (see interview with Radio Festival cited above).
    Always within the Arda, there is another structure, Cap Run a technical support center for fishing Reunion whose actions are conducted in partnership with IFREMER (like yours …) and IRD ( re like yours …), the trade association, the State and the Region. Cape Run key grants 400,000 euros per year. According to the Agency for the Development of Meeting, “Prosper” is the first example of the efforts Cap Run: “This is a survey of the tuna resources in the French economic zone, changing techniques customary fishing. ”
    But one of the assumptions made by the experts (those little by IRD, is it a coincidence?) Is the fact that today more sharks near our coasts is overfishing on the high seas oceans emptying of food, the sharks could have no other option but to approach the coast of Réunion to come dig into the pantry represented by the marine reserve. Run Cap and carries out studies to optimize this deep sea fishing ..
    But the IRD is constantly trying to clear the farm on his own responsibility, even partial, in the presence of sharks in the area. At that point it becomes strangely suspicious. The IRD has even had to crack a statement in which he said: “We have no financial contract with ARDA.” An assertion supported by the fact that the IRD is another that “a research university and therefore public.” “Our lab has had interactions with scientists ARDA,” said Marc Soria, his manager, referring to the projects “POLARUN” or the future “Pole Regional Sea” expected to bring together all stakeholders in the marine Meeting one site. Oddly, Marc Soria forgets to mention that it is precisely Pierre Bosc, head of ARDA, who is tipped to take the lead of the famous “Pole Regional Sea” and could therefore find themselves at the head of the marine reserve …
    Thus we find that all these organizations generously subsidized by the state and the region already working on a daily basis. Last example: the technicians of the IRD are housed in the premises of the Port Arda Arda when working with Cap and Run …
    Placed end to end, these subsidies are millions and millions of dollars … No wonder therefore that the IRD `covers` Arda has a 30% share of Sam, the society which operates lombrine who don `t have been possible without funding from the state`.
    And one side was the IRD to protect sharks and the other was to IRD is working with ARDA can be accused of being one of the causes of the presence of sharks near our shores with his fish farm!
    And if the key position of the anti-shark IRD was there? And nothing there?
    Add for good mouth Marc Soria, the boss of the IRD, head honcho of the operation CHARC is théseux at the University of Reunion, which also funds the University Arda. And the IRD has received a grant of 700,000 euros for his study of the sharks of the meeting …
    The loop is again closed. We now understand better why this little world with equal force protects its “dish eaten” as we say in Creole …
    In a long letter written by the father of a surfing champion who “runs” on the internet right now, some associations are singled out. We find jumble Ocean Life, Globice, ARDA, RUN SEA ARVAM or the SREPEN, GIP RNMR, IRD or the Marine Park.
    According to the author of this post, “motivation is of course research, but not any, they specialize in a type of productive research, the subsidies, Europe Region, Municipalities and some other … These are the only research they have businesses, and lead each year. ”
    “Strangely, the leaders of all these” initials “are the same people who spend an association or a corporation to another, chairman, vice chairman, member of advisory board member of the Scientific Committee, responsible employee of science. they swing the teacher, researcher and president of the ointment is all. ”
    And the author of the post to continue by giving some examples of these researchers found everywhere, in many associations:
    “Sonia Ribes-Beaudemoulin – Curator of the Natural History Museum of St Denis.
    – Member of the Board of Directors of the environmental group Ocean Life
    – President of the Scientific Committee of the GIP-RNMR (= group PUBLIC INTEREST Marine Reserve of the Meeting)
    – Member of the Advisory Committee GIP-RNMR
    – Representing the scientific community committee Reunion risk reduction sharks.
    Stéphane Ciccione – Director Kélonia
    – Vice-Pdt of the environmental group Globice
    – Member of the Scientific Committee of the GIP-RNMR
    – Representing the scientific community committee Reunion risk reduction sharks
    Bernadette ARDON –
    – President of the Board of Directors of the environmental group SREPEN
    – Member of the Advisory Committee GIP-RNMR
    – Member of Reunion risk reduction sharks
    – Representative of the environment within the National Park Meeting
    Florence trento – pathophysiology Plant Doctor – Fellow in Science VI. Teacher at IUFM
    – President of the Board of Directors of the environmental group Ocean Life
    – Member of the Advisory Committee GIP-RNMR
    – Member of Reunion risk reduction sharks
    Virginia BOUCAUD – Professor S.V.T
    – President of the environmental group Globice
    – Member of the Advisory Committee GIP-RNMR
    – Member of Reunion risk reduction sharks
    Roland TROADEC – Retired Professor, Associate Researcher at the Laboratory of Geology of the University of Reunion
    – Vice-Pdt of the Board of Directors of the environmental group Ocean Life
    – Vice-Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the GIP-RNMR
    – Member of the Advisory Committee GIP-RNMR
    Violaine Dulau – Doctor cetology
    – Hired (Chief Scientist) of the environmental group Globice
    – Member of the Scientific Committee of the GIP-RNMR.
    Pierre BOSC – Director General of the Association ARDA and leader in the SAS Sat privately manager of the farm funded by ARDA, the SAM is a loss since its creation 12 years ago, and not a little.
    Pascale CHABALET Researcher at IRD, Vice President of the Scientific Council of the marine reserve, Charc associated with the program. ”
    And this author who seems to know well his records concludes: “As our state representative and our elected officials are afraid to take responsibility, they gave a score of people care to say that the state must do to protect the population against the risk sharks. But as these people are concerned their functions financially everything related to research and marine biology, they attack through their associations or organizations taking the decision taken by the condition. (…) As they have not done much, but especially to avoid things that annoy, they lay reports and press releases at all costs. They forget previous reports ordered other scientists by our institutions, which they clearly showing that the solution to the attacks, and in the world, passed by fishing devices.
    Two points common to all these scientists:
    – They all live public money put into research.
    – They are all members of the Reunion risk reduction sharks. They are all in the institution by the government to ensure our safety in terms of risk against attacks. “

    Criss from reunion.

  • respect the apex predator

    Wow. I’d rather be an “eco Fairy” than a selfish, arrogant, barbaric, cowardly imbecile. Surfing is a recreational hobby for your entertainment. If you surf or swim, the ocean is your playground, play in a pool if you aren’t willing to take the risks. And as for protecting your family, if they are as stupid as you, evolution will destroy your lineage anyway. Unless you don’t believe in the “tree hugger” theory of evolution.
    Killing sharks near the beach won’t prevent shark attacks anyway, merely create the illusion of safety. Sharks migrate, so there’s no sure way to prevent them from coming back.
    Sharks and other apex predators of the play an important role in maintaining the ecosystem of the entire planet.

  • casey holland

    cull them but also fine or jail any1 that is caught feeding them , we done the right thing by protecting them but as you see in the usa it becoming a real problem to many sharks and to many fucking twats feeding them.

    anyway do these shark shield even work ? if so why isnt any1 using them ?

    ps .im not saying kill them cause i surf where sharks are cause i live in england there is no sharks here but i know what im talking about cause my dads a marine bio , and hes good at his job and he says goes

  • Gabs

    Those who know the island will tell you. The last attacks are not normal. Those attacks happened in a place free of attacks (for as long as people started surfing on the West coast. What was that… 40, 50 years ago?). They all occured in good conditions (clear water, early afternoon, in safe places…) and suddenly increased. 7 attacks of which 3 dead guys in one year. Who ever saw a shark 200m from l’Etang-Sale shore? Who ever saw a shark on surf spots like Boucan Canot, Trois-Bassins or St Leu? It never ever happened! Sharks are in their element, right. Though I think the problem is deeper than what you seem to show here. The Reserve marine, the fish farm are new elements on the West coast and probably changed the ecosystem somehow, the pollution (which always existed and even decreased over the past decade… maybe) and the breeding and releasing of turtles in St Leu, all these could be the cause of those attacks. Who knows? It seems that the cause is human, but do surfers have to pay for that? Surfers in Reunion are shocked, desperate and have the feeling that those deaths could have been avoided. I bet if you see your surfer friend being torn apart by three bulldog sharks you’d have a bit of a trauma,no? By the way sharks have always been part of the Reunionese culinary specialities. They are not overfished in Reunion though. To claim that Reunioneses surfers are willing to slaughter the sharks by just fishing ten of them is pure nonsense. Do we have to stop fishing them and create a shark nursery in Reunion? I would find it more logical and safe to keep on regulating those species who are not endangered here (bulldog and tiger sharks)… Also this shark crisis are putting our lagoon in danger. You should see how the it is getting overpopulated with swimmers, tourists and others… You are saving sharks and nature on one side to kill the coral reefs on the other side. Too bad…
    Well, this is the point of view of a non surfer girl from Reunion.

  • Soleil glacé

    Amazing to read the comments of some of you who obviously do not know anything about the situation. I suppose if you do not live on the island it is hard to have an objective view on the matter. Just reading the article make you realise that half the facts are mentioned. Well no point arguing with you guys!
    Yeah, let’s stop regulating the sharks around here and let’s stop invading the beaches. Water is not our element right? That is the solution. Island people have to suffocate on their ground and do not have the right to place a toe in the sea. I just pray for those lost souls, those beautiful young people who lost their lives in vain. And those who mourn them…

  • Kathy

    Shark nets work. Invest in them. We can always balance things if we show the will to do so.

  • Anthony

    Here’s something to consider for all you surfers, swimmers and divers. If you make the decision to go into the ocean, you are choosing to enter a primitive location where you become part of the food chain. You are not dealing with creatures that can reason and use logic to make decisions about what they will choose to attack or not. As humans, we tend to feel that we right to do whatever the hell we want, like going to a place that we don’t really belong in and kill the inhabitants for our pleasure. Just accept that when you go into the water, you are playing a game of Russian Roulette and leave it at that. Don’t blame the sharks, blame yourselves. Sharks don’t intend to kill people. But people certainly choose to kill sharks, and it’s appalling.

  • surfer, living in reunion

    time to fish ! at this time, either we abandon our beaches to the sharks or we fish them to keep them away.
    tens of millions of sharks are fished every year in the world. it’s sad, but it’s not a reaon for us to stop swimming and surfing on our 15 km long stretch of coast !
    ocean is big.we can let them all the ocean and the north and east coast and keep for us our small beaches.
    otherwise we’ll be the only tropical island where it’s impossible to bath except inside the lagoon…

  • Pulseguy

    People have lost their way when they think losing a surfer, probably a father or a mother, to a shark is just part of nature and that nothing should be done. It would appear the spike in attacks is either a statistical fluke, or a result of the marine reserve. Cull the sharks, if that works. Put up shark nets, if that works, and surfers should surf somewhere not near the marine reserve.

    Environmentalists are such hypocrites. How many saying surfers should just suck it up and die are vegans? Very few. You kill cows, you kill chickens, you can kill a few sharks to save lives of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children, and friends. We’re part of life. We get to live, and not just according to the dictates of the enviro-nuts.

  • Lindsay Lyon

    Hi, I’m from Shark Shield, the article below was written by Lisa Di Mambro which hopefully will shed some light on the facts. Best regards Lindsay

    Myth or Legend?

    Shark deterrent technology: Hear the facts. You decide.

    With such heated debate about the conservation of sharks, and the natural desire for safety in our waters, the use of shark deterrent technology has become a necessary conversation that we simply must have. There is much speculation about the offered products, and for those that have that amphibious streak, there are a few pressing questions that are being asked: Does this technology actually work? How does it work? And does it attract sharks and then deter them? Could an electronic deterrent device, such as Shark Shield Freedom 7, be the new-found legend in our waters?

    Firstly, a shark deterrent has to be one that has the capability of producing a low frequency that disturbs the electro reception in a shark. Here is where the scientific hat must be worn, because to understand how the deterrent technology works, there has to be some understanding of what we are trying to deter, and for that matter, protect.

    All Chondrichthyans: sharks, rays, skates and chimeras, have Ampullary receptors in their heads, these are broadly tuned to low-frequency fields of <0.1–25 Hz, and believe it or not, these are the same electroreceptors that Australia’s beloved Platypus and Echidnas have. They all use them for the same thing, to find prey hidden under wet sand, to communicate to each other, to find a mate when the mood beckons, and to detect potential predators. This sensitivity is only operational when in close proximity, it is the final stages of detection for them all, including our sharks. This is where it gets very interesting, Shaun Collins, a world expert on, ‘Electroreception in Vertebrates and Invertebrates’ (Collins et al) reports that all of the research on the many animals that have ampullary or tuberous organs, keeping in mind that this enables them to detect weak electrical fields, be it low or high frequency, only use it after they have used chemoreceptive, mechanoreceptive and their vision to localize their prey. In laymen’s terms, they detect particles in the water, vibration in the water, what is seen and then, the ampullae/mucus gland kicks in at a close proximity, and this is when an electromagnetic field is detected. As the waves emitted from an electromagnetic field do not travel great distances under water, and the sharks Ampullary receptors only fire up when it is close to its prey, it is an impossibility that this shark deterrent technology attracts sharks. This is because by the time the shark senses the electrical wave, he has a pain that travels like lightening through the gel in the receptors in his head giving him a headache of whale proportions which has him fleeing for calmer waters.

    Shark deterrent technology is basically two electrodes that emit an electromagnetic field in a low frequency that interferes and greatly disturbs the shark’s electroreceptor. The extensive research, in fact over 20 years of it by the Zwazulu Natal Shark Board in South Africa, patented a successful model, which subsequently was thoroughly tested. The result, the sharks did not like it, and since then many organisations and private users have attested to its obvious deterrent capability. The reason the deterrent works is that it creates a low frequency that specifically targets sharks, but note that for full protection the electrodes need to be far enough apart to create an electrical field that surrounds the user or surf board. Electrical waves do not travel far under water so it is also crucial that the device is powered sufficiently to create an electrical field at least three or four meters in diameter.

    The scientific jargon can sound very bewildering, yet a desire to gain trust and some hope in something tried and true, for the safety of all seems very necessary. So with this, steps toward assurance continue in the water itself. The original technology was released onto the market in 1995 by POD Holdings Ltd, a joint venture company partly owned by the Zwazulu Natal Shark Board and the South African Government. In addition to being tested by National Military and other authorities, Shark Shield has been extensively tested to the highest standards by scientists and marine biologists over many years.

    The accumulative years of research by scientists and world-recognised organisations cannot be wrong, nor can the fact that the Shark Shield product has been used well over a decade by professional divers, the U.S Coastguard, the American and Australian Navy. This product must be seriously considered as a safety device in the water, just as wearing a seat belt in a car is a safety choice. If it has kept this many citizens safe, and our Navy will not dive without one, then the message seems loud and clear. If the product conforms to what science knows works, and be aware that not all of the electric shark deterrents do, so do your research, then this seems the way to real conservation. True, conscious conservation of the ones we love and of sharks. The immediate and accessible solution, and the answer to the question must be that this product is the new legend in the water.

  • James

    First, to the numbnut that said, “kill all sharks.” Did you complete high school? Have you attained a college degree or subscribed to any post secondary education? Do you have any clue what would happen if we destroyed all sharks on this planet?

    Second, if you change the ecology of an area, then you change the natural balance of said area. It’s like shipping 100,000 seals to the beaches in Los Angeles then wondering why great whites are starting to come close to shore and attacking humans who happen to be in the water with said seals. A surfer was just killed in Santa Barbara a bit ago. Two surfers have been killed at the same beach. No one is proposing to go out and kill a bunch of sharks. Surfers in Florida get hit all the time. They chose to surf those breaks when bait fish are plentiful and if they get bitten, they get bitten.

    Third, my big question is: did the last surfer know other surfers had been killed by sharks at that break? If he did, he knowingly went out in shark infested waters and took on that risk. Now if he had no clue, then the govt. is at fault for not notifying anyone visiting that beach.

    Fourth, get rid of the food source and the sharks will move on and find another one. They don’t hang out where there’s nothing to eat.

  • Rob

    I think the world would be better off with a few more sharks and few less surfers. Just my opnion.

  • Steve

    @ respect the apex predator – That’s us

    Killing sharks will reduce the chance of attack, despite migration. We can even balance the ecosystem with a bit of fishing and sealing if that becomes a problem. pretty straight forward. You shark fanciers are the unpleasant/retarded people.

  • Kaden-dos Santos

    It seems to me that the government should notify in advance that the island is a Shark Park instead of advertising paradise.

    It should be made public worldwide in travel agencies too. If you are a surfer or swimmer you must know that Marine reservation and aquaculture do somehow not combine well with water sports.

  • Lou

    So much for the myth about the ocean loving surfer……The natives of Reunion island have always been weary of the seas surrounding their island and as the island population has swelled to over 800,000 pollution and runoff have created ideal habitats for bull sharks, one of the most aggressive species. Many of the surfers are tourist and or mainlanders soaking up the island beauty. Yet the misguided and SELFISH surfer populations on Reunion and local business people think the solution is to wipe out the shark. In almost every attack the water was extremely turbid because of runoff and even smelled. Where I surf, when the water is murky we know not to enter as our chance of an encounter is greatly increased. I am willing to forgo a day of surfing if it means not having a run in with the seas natural predator.

  • pinkin9

    Shark House do not enter and if you do you will deal with it.

  • Jawhan

    Sharks should not be killed. We shouldn’t forget that we enter the shark’s territory, not the other way around. Sure, surfing is a need to some as breathing air but that should not be a justification to thin any shark population. These animals are crucial in the food chain anywhere in the world.

  • Noel

    If sharks kill they deserve the same treatment, just as any other animal, including humans.

    But other animals that don’t kill should not be killed.

    Shark territory is also other’s territory, including more adventurous humans.

    Jawhan thinks humans are part of the food chain… Killing killer sharks that entered this area is not going to change the world food chain, and even if it did we would end up with more other fishes at a time when there are not enough. Jawhan is probably a young green fanatic like we have so many nowadays, paradoxically wanting to change all old human rules towards no more morality, free ride, etc…

    • CullingIdiots

      Wow are you an idiot?

    • Gab

      Out of question, you are an idiot.

  • Kelonia

    The spread of killer sharks on the shore of Reunion is not only leathal to human beings, but also to other coastal species. Plus people are now concentrating in the lagoon. Coral reefs are in great danger. A pity, a shame, a crime to let this happen! Bulldog and tiger sharks are not in danger there. Why would their life be more important than anything else? We should allow fishermen to capture a couple of them, like in the old time. This would not endanger the food chain. We never mentioned the eradication of those species (like reported by lots of newspapers), we just want to take the most agressive sharks and stop them from spreading so fast. Sad for my lost friends. RIP Alex and Mathieu.

  • Lily cactuuus

    Obviously the solution is not to kill shark (what a stupid idea and way to think), but to see first why this is happening in Reunion Island and fix the main problem, which is pollution and over fishing.

    Reunion’s ocean is became an open bin for lots of companies since few years, those fuckers feel free to though away their waste in our beautiful ocean, killing lots of fishes (basically shark food) and making the water dirty and murky. No more fish and troubled water, that sounds like a perfect situation for a shark attack. Therefore sharks are like us, victims!
    Stupid people think they can though their shit in the nature without create troubles… Now we have hungry sharks in shallow water! Sick!

    Would be great if the Reunionesse population react to stop those dirty companies, stop the over fishing and help cleaning the water!!!

    • jos

      I think you can be more specific, its not just dirty and murky. a high chance a specific pollutant is interacting with the shark sense. possible by dirty companies or other polluters …

  • Tina K.

    Of course there should be something done with the shark attacks! The retards (humans of course) should not swim where they should not.
    It is always the retards. Always the humans.

  • Mark Wallis

    So sad that little Elio was eaten today. You can see him in the red t shirt in the 2nd from bottom picture above. What a scary coincidence. 🙁

  • Danimal

    Reunion is sharky, always has been because it is an isolated island with an abundance fish. It’s a bad idea to surf after rain there, as the nutrient-rich water that runs off the volcanic slopes sends the fish into a frenzy, and the sharks come. It is a calculated risk to enter the water, and it’s just so so sad that Elio was killed.