Sharks play an essential rol in the health of our oceans

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Stop the shark slaughter with EU funding at Réunion Island!

This week, we posted a message on our Facebook wall about the culling of sharks in La Réunion, a French Island in the Indian Ocean, where there have been several shark incidents. Most of them at a spot, that is famous for its shark population, and has all the factors that should keep people out of the water: run-off after rain that creates murky waters, where sharks like to hunt for their food, a commercial harbour, a fish farm and sewage pipes. People should not go surfing or swim  there at all. This was local knowledge, but due to the rapidly rising number of recreational water users, the expanding local surfing community and tourism, bathers and surfers used to the beach St. Paul for recreation.

So the authorities set up a culling programme. The so-called study named Valo Requins is actually killing bulldog and tiger sharks under the initial claim of reviving its consumption with the stated objective of “regulating” their numbers and allegedly guaranteeing the safety of activities such as surfing or swimming. This is the other way around – instead of learning people how to live with the oceans and its sharks, key predators that keep our oceans healthy, they slaughter sharks. Unfortunately, the local surf community is a strong advocate for this. They hope to be able to surf at the bay again when all sharks ‘are taken out’.  As a reminder, no study has ever demonstrated the security interest of such fishing campaigns, proof of a total contempt for wildlife but also a deep misunderstanding of how the marine ecosystem works.

Authorities have even applied for funds from the European Union for this programme.

A tiger shark and diver / © Peter Verhoog, Dutch Shark Society

A tiger shark and diver / © Peter Verhoog, Dutch Shark Society

Sea Shepherd France has set-up a petition against this.

From their site: “These programs are kept out of sight from the world. The only observers authorised on board the boats are shark fishing supporters or close relatives from the fishermen. The group of observers mandated by Sea Shepherd for these two programs has never been authorised on these drum line fishing campaigns. The Valo Requins and Cap Requins programs have cost France over 1,3 million Euros in 2014. The extension of such programs will cost millions of euros each year. Because killing sharks is very expensive, the French government is now asking for European funds to finance this shark slaughter in the Reunion Island.”

Please sign the petition at:


Let’s stop this!


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