Swell Saturdays: Reunion Island Lifts BAN on Surfing Oct. 1st | Shark Bites Off Surfer’s Leg on Oct. 27th

SwellBrains | | SurfSurf
Reunion shark attack survivor.
Reunion shark attack survivor.

On October 27th, 2013, at Étang-Salé beach just south of Saint Leu on Reunion Island a 24-year-old bodyboarder was attacked by a shark only 20 yards from shore.  His leg was completely severed at the thigh.  He is reported to be in the hospital in critical conditions at this time.

Reunion Island has been the scene of a major shark controversy this summer.  There have been 12 shark attacks on humans in the waters surrounding reunion island since 2011*.  Five of these shark attacks were fatal.

*List & description of all shark attacks at Reunion Island on record:  Reunion Shark Attack Records

Showing all shark attacks since 2010 with the latest attack on the body boarder on Oct. 27th, 2013 as blue star.
Showing all 15 shark attacks since 2010 with the latest attack on the body boarder on Oct. 27th, 2013 as blue star.

This past July, Reunion Island banned surfing for 4 months following a string of fatal shark attacks.  They also killed 45 tiger sharks and 45 bull sharks.  The idea was to lower the number of sharks, thereby making the waters safer for swimmers and surfers.  The surfing ban was just lifted on October 1st, 2013 and this latest shark attack occurred on October 27th, 2013.  The plan used, clearly didn’t work.

This past summer’s surfing ban was laughed at by surfers upon its inception.

“I think it’s stupid.  I’m shocked they banned surfing in the area…if I want to surf, I will.” – local Damien Ferrere told Surfer Magazine

Fabien Bujon in hospital after being attack on Reunion by a bull shark
Fabien Bujon in hospital after being attack on Reunion by a bull shark.  2012.

Yet, the ban worked.  Fear of the big fine (and likely sharks themselves) kept surfers out of the water during the ban.

Most of the Reunion Island shark attacks have been on surfers but there have been fatal attacks on swimmers as well.

Why are the sharks more aggressive of late at Reunion Island?  There are a few theories.  One surrounds a ban on fishing in a newly created marine preserve.  As that ecosystem begins to support more fish, it attracts more sharks.  Another claim is that increased amounts of waste water being put into the ocean is attracting the sharks.

Right now, there is no solid answer to what Reunion Island can do to stop its recent plague of shark attacks.  Tourism is down, surfing is losing popularity, and Reunion’s most marketable feature, the ocean, is now being considered deadly.

Reunion Island
You might wanna listen to this sign…  but it’s tough, when the waves look like this.  Reunion Island

RELATED POST:

Reunion Island BANS Surfing Due to Shark Attacks | 90 Sharks to Be Killed


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5 thoughts on “Swell Saturdays: Reunion Island Lifts BAN on Surfing Oct. 1st | Shark Bites Off Surfer’s Leg on Oct. 27th

  1. I’m afraid you’ve got a few of your facts wrong in this article:
    1) The surfing ban had not been lifted on October 1st – when the latest attack happened it had already been renewed until February 2014.
    2) The latest attack was on a bodysurfer, not a bodyboarder.
    3) July/August in Reunion is the winter not the summer!
    4) Reunion’s “most marketable feature” is actually its mountains, not the ocean 😉

    By the way Tanguy’s condition is now stable, no longer critical.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +1 (1 vote)
  2. Another fact that is wrong, the last pic is of a dolphin and wasn’t taken anywhere near reunion.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    0 (0 votes)
  3. That photo with the “shark” in the wave at “Reunion” is a dolphin and the photo was taken in
    Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Note the wetsuit…the photo also happens to be me.

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    +1 (1 vote)

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