Seychelles nets to deter shark attacks

2011-09-02 07:21

Victoria - Authorities in the Seychelles will erect special anti-shark sea nets around a popular beach where two tourists were killed in separate attacks last month, officials said.

South African experts from the KwaZulu Natal Sharks Board - hired by the Seychellois government to investigate the attacks - said their recommendations to introduce nets had been accepted.

A swimming ban imposed after the attacks will continue "until such time as small-mesh exclusion nets were introduced at the attack site and adjacent beaches", said Geremy Cliff, head of research at the centre.

"It was evident the minister wants to ensure that every reasonable precaution is taken to prevent further shark attacks," Cliff added, who normally works to protect swimmers in SA from attacks.

British honeymooner Ian Redmond was killed in August while in the sea off Anse Lazio beach - a famous beauty spot on the archipelago's Praslin island - while his newly-wed wife watched on helplessly.

Tooth fragment

The attack happened in the same area where a shark attacked and killed 36-year-old French tourist Nicolas Francois Xavier Virolle earlier in August.

"From close examination of photographs of the injuries, it appeared that large tiger sharks in the region of 4m were responsible for both attacks," Cliff said in a report.

"It is impossible to confirm that the same shark was responsible, but it cannot be excluded."

A shark tooth fragment found in a victim will be analysed in the hope of confirming the exact species, he added.

The Seychellois home affairs ministry said in a statement last week it would work with the South African experts to "address the local shark problem".

Fishermen on the Indian Ocean archipelago caught some 40 sharks since the attack on government orders, although Cliff said most were from species "none of which pose a major threat" to humans.

However, a 3.6m long tiger shark was caught, but there was no proof it was the killer animal.

"The stomach contents of the tiger shark were examined but no human remains or wedding ring - the second victim lost his left arm, with a wedding ring on the third finger - were found," the report read.

Shark attacks are rare in Seychelles, with the last reported fatal attack before the recent killings in 1963, according to the government.

"There was no obvious explanation for the attacks, both of which were in the mid-late afternoon," it added.

"In general, attacks in the late afternoon are not unusual, as this is when sharks, which are generally most active at night, tend to start moving inshore to hunt for food."

  • Deadr4t - 2011-09-02 07:44

    Duh Dum...Duh Dum...Duh Dum, Duh Dum

  • Joy Thorpe - 2011-09-02 08:22

    I don't believe in putting up shark nets .... swim at your own risk always!

      Nimitzz - 2011-09-02 08:39

      Well that is just pathetically naive. Please state as to why you believe no nets should be put up and that "bathing" should be at ones own risk. Please - "It is their domain", is not a suitable answer. I state this because if it was, I will then ensure that a copious amount of wild predators are shipped over and placed in your back yard, as it was once their domain that we as people so "rightfully" took away.

      Nimitzz - 2011-09-02 09:09

      Haha four thumbs down for giving a valid point? I suppose arguing an opinion is pointless now a days with the 'narrow minded' observers we have.

      ApexPredator - 2011-09-02 09:26

      The shark nets of the sharks board catches innocent sharks that die of suffocation when they are trapped and entangled because sharks need to stay in motion in order for water to flow through their gills. A gruesome way to die for such magnificent beasts. To add further insult to this gross injustice the crop of sharks caught but the sharks board have their fins cut off and sold to make soup. Putting shark nets in the Seychelles increases their profits and pushes these elegant creatures closer to extinction. @nimitz: you suck ass.

      DW - 2011-09-02 10:25

      Nimitzz, I would say you are the uneducated naive one. Shark nets are put up in a staggered fashion. Most sharks caught in the nets are caught INSIDE the nets, trying to get out. Shark nets dont only catch sharks, but dolphins, turtles, small whales and myriads of other sea life. All killed so that you can have a swim. I dive with sharks (including 4.5m tiger sharks). There are no shark nets in Sodwana Bay (and various other beaches in SA) and there are hundreds of sharks there. We specifically go there to dive with sharks. You are more likely to die from being electrocuted by your toaster or falling off a chair than you will from a shark attack, but you want to slaughter hundreds of innocent sea creatures so that you can have your little dip in the sea. You dont stop driving your car because you might die in a car accident, do you? You are the type of person who probably hunts rhino too.

  • marius817 - 2011-09-02 09:00

    Going to Seychelles in November for my honeymoon! and this just freaks me out. just catch the damn shark and kill it and put the shark nets up to protect the tourists. This should have been done long time ago!

      ApexPredator - 2011-09-02 09:27

      and you suck ass too

      nic - 2011-09-02 09:48

      Please dont go to the Seychelles...we dont want your type coming here...go and swim in a concrete swimming pool and please stay away from some of the most beautiful beaches around...

      Julien Alexis - 2011-09-02 10:33

      The nets should be put as a trial. I think it will be catastrophic to other sharks, turtles, dolphins, fish and even whales. Marius you're most welcome in our country. I hope they catch that shark

      Dirge - 2011-09-03 06:39

      Ok genius, how will you know when you have caught the shark that did the killing ? While we are at it lets just wipe out all the sharks then we can be 100% sure of no killings ever again. And why stop there. Lets sanitize the ocean of all "dangerous" life just so you can feel safe on your holiday. I agree man you suck ass.

  • marius817 - 2011-09-02 09:38

    @ApexPredator: I don’t care about the sharks I care about the innocent people that lost their life’s. I for one agree in killing this so called "elegant creatures". If this was someone you loved and cared about will your comment change?

      nic - 2011-09-02 09:52

      @Marius, No you miss the point pal - a bit narrow minded I say...firstly you can kill every shark you find and miss the one that killed someone and if you dead, killing a shark is not going to bring you're swimming in their territory so stay away or stop winging!!

      Andreas du Preez - 2011-09-02 10:05

      @marius you know the total fatal shark attacks for 2010 is only 6. The amount of people that die of smoking is about 443,000 deaths annually and 49,400 deaths per year from secondhand smoke exposure (what about those innocent people). Do the math

      ApexPredator - 2011-09-02 10:12

      No my comment will not change Marius. Education beats fear. The term "innocent" applies in a case where a crime is commited. It is no crime for a human to swim in the ocean anymore than it is a crime for a shark to feed on whatever prey is available. Like you, sharks also get hungry and they feed out of necesity, not malice. As it is, us humans are not natural prey for sharks. So my advice to you is to enjoy your Seychelles trip and not to worry about sharks when you swim in the ocean. Russia have a better chance of winning the RWC than you have at being attacked by a shark. If sharks really wanted to feast on us we would not dare set foot in the ocean. Congrats on your wedding, have a good and safe trip. And stop sucking ass.

      Bridget Harris - 2011-09-02 13:03

      Marius - a bit of a naive sentiment. Love sharks or hate them, they are a crucial part of the oceanic food chain. A tragic death for the poor honeymooner, but equally tragic that the response was to kill 40 sharks in an attempt to find the "culprit". Senseless. I won't be the first person to say this to you, but you're more likely to be killed by a falling chair than by a shark. Congrats on your pending marriage, but please don't breed if you have this attitude and expect your children to enjoy the sea as you once did.

  • Andreas du Preez - 2011-09-02 09:42

    It's been 48 years since the previous fatal shark attack. Putting up shark nets is overkill and does more harm than good.

  • No_BS_Please - 2011-09-02 13:47

    The most worrying thing about this is that the "Death Squad for Sharks" aka KZN Sharks Board is involved. Using science that was outdated before cell phones were invented they continue to breed fear as a way of sustaining a giant cash cow. I make my living in and on the ocean and diving with sharks is a privilege and a joy. PS I am more afraid of my toaster than I am of any of the large Tigers we encounter on our dives!!!

  • Joy Thorpe - 2011-09-03 13:23

    I have personally dived with Tigers and Great Whites (no chumming) and they are magnificent creatures, and a vital part of the oceanic eco-system. Putting up shark nets is not going to make a difference, as they are staggered along the coastline, and it is very easy for the sharks to GET IN, it is the GETTING OUT which becomes a problem for them at low tide. Sharks, like any other predator will go where the food source is ... leave them be! You can experience these magnificent creatures in their own habitat by being calm and defensive... never excited and aggressive .... and if you truly are frightened of them, then wear a Shark Shield (electronic shark deterrent) but stop hunting them in a vengeful manner for 1 / 2 people getting killed / bitten ... that is just downright stupid !

  • Spoedvark - 2011-09-03 17:50

    Let's kill all the lions so that tourists can walk in the Kruger Park without risk!

  • Debbie - 2011-09-06 22:09

    I cannot believe that this conversation is even happening...............when will the human race's all about us and control and wanting it all our way............I have dived with sharks for 25 years and have learnt to educate myself about them. None of this is an answer. So much is changing in the world of nature and climate change and yet...............we still want it all our way. When we learn to co-exist and fully understand nature, then we have succeeded as a race. To date, we fail miserably at both.......

  • greencat - 2011-10-12 22:10

    Harsh one for the guys wife to have to see that. Life happens to all of us. Sympathies to the families. Watch out for the massive( and misguided) backlash at the sharks.

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