ENVIRONMENT. Swimmers who ventured into the net before its official opening saw nothing. It is probably better for them. If they had dipped their heads underwater, they would have discovered a hammerhead shark entangled in the nets. Dead.
The animal was discovered by the lifeguards of Roches Noires who inspected the bathing safety device. They called on the Cisan to remove this 3 meter female. A juvenile, which she had just given birth, was also found on the beach. For about two years, the nets have not been systematically removed at the end of the day in order to offer more bathing time in the evening and in the morning.
It is therefore in the night from Sunday to Monday that this imposing specimen got stuck in the net. A first. These devices installed in Boucan and Roches Noires for three years had never before captured a fish. “The meshes of 40 centimeters on the side are precisely designed to let fish through and avoid bycatch,” confirms Willy Cail, director of the Shark Safety Center (CSR), a representative of which was present yesterday morning at Roches Noires. So how did a hammerhead shark about three meters long get stuck? The “T” shape of its head and the behavior of females at the time of parturition are believed to be the origin of the CSR. The female hammerhead sharks come very close to the coast to give birth.
The specimen recovered yesterday was sent to the Port. He will be dissected today by a veterinarian. It is very likely that other juveniles will be discovered in its belly.
Hammerhead sharks are one of the protected species. However, they are regularly observed in Reunionese waters. On Facebook, pages testify to a regular fishing of juveniles which move in schools. In the photos, we can distinguish ten specimens captured in a single take.
Adults can also be bycatch in the Tiger Shark and Bulldog fishing program. According to independent observer reports, released quarterly, two specimens were captured and released in good health last year between January and August.
Hammerhead sharks are not known to attack humans. But it is advisable for divers, who observe it, to keep a certain distance from this predator.