What’s the best way to overcome negative knock-on effects on tourism following a series of fatal shark attacks? Host a brand new world tour surfing event of course! Kelly at The Box during this year’s Margaret River Pro.
Sharky shark sharks. The source of so much controversy these days and so misunderstood! Sparked by an unprecedented run of fatal attacks off the coast of Reunion Island and Western Australia both starting in 2011, the introduction of new shark culling policies continue to make headlines as they’re continually denounced by animal-rights activists, especially in Australia, less so in Reunion Island where local inhabitants have been more in support of action.
How to deal with shark attacks, whether it be drum lines, nets, electromagnetic devices or investing in more scientific monitoring and research is a complicated touchy political matter but the bottom line for surfers is big predatory fish and surfing don’t go together well! In particular the great white, tiger and bull shark whom out of more than 480 shark species are responsible for the majority of fatal unprovoked attacks on humans. So we figured we’d take a look at some of the sharkier surf zones to host such species.
From a quick glance at the International Shark Attack File, the number of reported attacks per year over the last decade has remained more or less stable, ranging between 60 to 80 year – an exceedingly rare occurrence when you consider the total number of beachgoers on the planet today, although obviously the number of sharks have dramatically decreased (environmental activists Sea Shepherd estimate 100 million sharks are killed every year!). Nevertheless, you’d still do well to know a little about the following hot spots…