D-3 before the start of the holidays! Whether we are preparing hiking shoes or sunscreen, everyone plans their things to bask in the pill during the summer break. But there is always this fear, that of suffering a shark attack while taking advantage of the sea to cool off or to practice a water sport: jet ski, windsurfing or pedal boat. Don’t worry, you can enjoy your holidays in France with peace of mind. Spoiler, there are no sharks along the French coast, or almost.
Very few fatal shark attacks are counted each year in the world. In 2021, there are 11 attacks spread over Australia, New Caledonia, United States, New Zealand, Brazil and South Africa. As much to tell you right away, you have more chance of a coconut fatally falling on your head than of being fatally attacked by a shark. Indeed, they account for a total of no less than 150 fatal accidents per year alone.
For Philippe Gros, member of the Scientific Council of the Foundation for Biodiversity Research, you can, in France, in France, dive into the sea with your eyes closed. No shark ventured near French beaches. According to him, the majority of species prefer to swim far, in the deep waters of the Mediterranean. And the others, measuring less than two meters, are harmless. On the contrary, “sharks have much more to fear from humans than we have to fear from them,” he explains to RTL.
On the other hand, when it comes to Reunion Island, it’s a whole different story. Shark attacks are on the rise. There have been no less than 25 attacks since 2011. For the researcher, these attacks are the consequence of urbanization and population growth. “There are more and more contacts,” he reveals to RTL.
Incidents attributed to the bull shark, an aggressive shark, fond of shallow and murky waters and able to swim in fresh water, venturing into rivers and tributaries.
But for Philippe le Gros, it is necessary to put things into perspective: “It is not comparable with the number of deaths on the road” he argues for RTL. And above all, always follow the safety instructions to avoid any bad encounters.
Respect bathing bans, never bathe at night, at dawn or dusk, or when the water is cloudy or after rain, or near a river mouth, as this is the hunting ground for these sharks. Instructions that are not always respected, at everyone’s risk and peril.