Eleven dead at sea in ten years. Along the coasts of Reunion Island, surfers are attacked, but also simple swimmers, regularly, sometimes killed, by sharks. Our reporters Clovis Casali and Julien Sauvaget went to meet Reunionese, shared about the solutions to be implemented to ward off predators to allow residents and tourists to return to the water without danger.
When the surf paradise turns into a bad remake of the sea’s teeth … This is a bit of the history of Reunion Island. In about ten years, this French branch, off the coast of Africa, has become the site listing the world’s most deadly attacks by sharks. Is this due to urbanization and exponential densification of the West Coast in recent years? The effect of global warming? Or simply to a nature that takes back its rights?
While some, especially surfers, demand the legal extinction of predators, others demand protection of this marine species and safeguard its natural habitat. For its part, the French government is investing millions of euros to propose solutions that are acceptable to everyone.
Meanwhile, most beaches are closed for swimming and nautical activities. Only a few lagoons and shark-protected beaches allow safe swimming. Insufficient measures to save a dying tourism sector, while many surfers are still being exposed to danger in the waves illegally.