IN 2013 tourists to France's Reunion islands were likely to have water fright after two swimmers died from shark attacks.
It lead to a ban on surfing, water sports and swimming across many coastal areas until February 2014.
There has been one incident since the ban was lifted, in a non life-threatening attack 22 July when a man was bitten in his wrist and leg at Saint-Leu.
Even so,a France2 television broadcast on 7 August referred to La Réuion as shark island and some inhabitants have reacted angrily demanding an apology. The programme called the island “la plus dangereuse au monde” the most dangerous in the world after South Africa.
Some were so outraged by 'Carnets de Voyage d'Envoyé Special' (Diary of the travels of a special envoy), they launched a petition asking for an apology by the producers saying the programme is damaging the island's tourism trade.
The island has 850,000 inhabitants with a GDP of €14.5bn, with tourism, IT and the service industry in general the largest employers.
Surfers can buy a device, called a Shark Shield that clips onto the back of the surfboard, surrounding the surfer in an electronic field. This deterrent was developed by Australian company SeaChange Technology Pty Ltd.
When journalist and long-distance swimmer, Diana Nyad attempted to swim from Cuba to Florida without a cage she fitted one to deter sharks which are able to pick up a person's heartbeat but are very sensitive to electrical currents having receptors in their snouts.