La Réunion: Great white among 47 sharks caught in 2015

Helmut Nickel (mail), Shark Year Magazine,
29. May 2016

2015 Summary of the Shark Fishing Program in Réunion Island

In 2015, a total of 47 sharks were reportedly taken as part of the targeted shark fishing operations on the western coast of Réunion Island (see table below). These are ten sharks less than in the preceding year. Our 2014 summary can be viewed here.

The catches consisted of 26 bull sharks (Carcharhinus leucas), 20 tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvier) and one great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias).

As shown in the diagram below, October was the month with most catches (11).

A 4,20 metres long tiger shark turned out to be the largest shark recorded in last year’s season. The female specimen was caught on a drumline about 600 metres off the beach of Roches Noires in the early morning hours of April 14th. This catch took place during a post-attack procedure in a bid to capture the shark that had attacked and killed a teenage surfer two days before.

On October 22nd, the biggest bull shark was caught in the waters off St-Gilles-les-Bains. It was a female specimen which measured 3,20 metres in length.

A rare catch of a great white shark occurred in St. Paul Bay on October 15th . The male specimen, which measured 3,90 metres in length and approximately 350 kg in weight, was found hooked on a longline deployed about 300 metres from the coast and 16 metres deep.

The great white was still alive but in a very weakened condition. It’s reported that the animal was close to dying. Due to its distressed state and the potential threat posed to the safety of the nearby beaches, the decision was made to land the specimen for scientific examination.

Réunion Island – Shark Incidents in 2015 :

The following four shark incidents, including two fatalities, were officially registered last year.

In three cases, local authorities were able to determine the involved shark species ( 2x bull shark, 1x tiger shark ).

Date: 14. February 2015
Location: Mula, Étang-Salé
Victim: Female (22)
Activity: Swimming/Bathing
Injuries: FATAL
Involved shark: 3,5 m tiger shark ( Galeocerdo cuvier ), identified by medical expertise.
Post-attack catches: five sharks ( 3 x bull, 2 x tiger sharks )

Date: 12. April 2015
Location: Pointe des Aigrettes, Saint-Gilles
Victim: Male (13)
Activity: Surfing
Injuries: FATAL ( multiple injuries to limbs and abdomen )
Involved shark: 2,5 m bull shark ( Carcharhinus leucas ), identified by medical expertise.
Post-attack catches: two tiger sharks.

Date: 01. June 2015
Location: Spot de la Follette
Victim: Male (47)
Activity: Surfing
Injuries: Bitten on arm.
Involved shark: 2.5 m bull shark ( Carcharhinus leucas )
Post-attack catches: None reported.

Date: 22. July 2015
Location: Saint Leu.
Victim: Male (45)
Activity: Surfing
Injuries: Bitten on right elbow.
Involved shark: Unknown.
Post-attack catches: one bull shark.

Source: L’Etat à la Réunion.


Reunion by month 2015

reunion tab_2015a

1 Comment

  1. Lola974

    Thank you for this overview. Could you also write down the link of the sharks fished for different purposes in Seychelles Islands, Mauritius, Comoros, Madagascar, Rodrigues? As an inhabitant of Reunion Island, I find it very hypocritical to focus on the amount of sharks that we fish every year. Besides, 47 sharks taken for scientific purposes or for safety (depending on what people’s opinion is on that subject) is by far ridiculous if we compare it to the fishing of more than 100 millions of sharks fished throughout the world. Most of those captures are done in Asia. A white shark was accidently caught. Please, realise that white sharks are not common to our waters. Bull and tiger sharks have now settled close to the shores of our island disrupting the ecosystem and they are definitely not endangered species. Specially in our waters. We have to protect the reef sharks that have now disappeared, not the bull and tiger sharks which place is further away from the coast.

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