Gendarmes carry the corpse from the beach. credit AFP, Richard Bouhet

A French surfer on his honeymoon died yesterday after a being attacked by a shark  on Reunion Island, while is his new wife watched on from the beach. The attack took place at Brisants de Saint-Gilles and is the third fatality in three years at Reunion. It’s not known what species of shark was responsible.

AFP reports that the unidentified 36 year old surfer was bitten on the arm and thigh, and while lifeguards pulled him to shore, he had gone into cardiac and respiratory arrest and could not be revived. His wife was being treated for shock.

With fatal attacks becoming commonplace on Reunion, some local surfers are calling for the  the closure of a vast marine reserve, which they blamed for an increase in shark encounters, while others were critical of the local government for not doing enough to protect swimmers and surfers.

Local government claim they have initiated several scientific studies to try and better understand the way of life of the animals and have taken measures to prevent further attacks. These include employing spotters near beaches, boats or in the water to keep an eye on swimmers and surfers.