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)
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)
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)
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)
Injuries: Bitten on right elbow.
Involved shark: Unknown.
Post-attack catches: one bull shark.
Source: L’Etat à la Réunion.