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Reunion Island revs up shark-spotting capacity

Reunion Island revs up shark-spotting capacity (Forimmediaterelease.net) Following a recent article here about the range of actions taken by the regional government of Reunion Islalnd to safeguard swimmers, snorkelers, divers and surfers from a sudden shark attack, now additional measures have been added to make the beaches of Reunion Island safe.

On April 29, for the first time ever at the beaches of Roches Noires off Saint Gilles les Baines, a new device was deployed which will monitor the waters so that Reunion Island's top surfers can train undisturbed. Two zodiac boats with four spotters using seabed surveillance equipment are supplemented by submerged cameras allowing immediate reaction should a shark be spotted in the area designated for surfing.

Once the trial phase is completed and the results have been analyzed and scientifically interpreted, more beaches will see such equipment deployed. Once that has been accomplished, specific areas will be designated for surfing activities and training while non-designated areas will remain off limits.

A total of 28 spotters, boatmen, and equipment monitors have been recruited and were trained for over 6 weeks with a specially-designed course content including safety and emergency, marine biology, and environmental topics.

While it is hoped that several beaches can be opened up for surfing over the coming weeks, it has been confirmed that by September a barrier of safety nets will have been installed at Roches Noires and Boucan Canot, the two best surfing beaches on the island.

MEDIA CONTACT: Evelyne Coustillat, Reunion Island Tourism, Phone: +262 (0)262 90 83 69, Fax: +262 (0)262 21 00 21, E.COUSTILLAT@reunion.fr

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