Two shark attacks off the coast of the French Island of Reunion, located in the western Indian Ocean, have provoked the government to hire fishermen to hunt around 20 bull and tiger sharks in the area.

While the government is springing for an initial hunt in the interest of understanding the cause of these attacks, the future of management of this population of sharks is uncertain. The hunting of these species is currently legal, but the toxins in sharks’ flesh make them an unattractive catch.

Reuters reported that “France’s overseas minister has refused a regulated cull, saying studies must be conducted before hunting is allowed, to try to understand the source of the toxin…”

The government is taking action after 300 people demonstrated outside the Island’s police station, calling for management of the shark population.

Of the two victims, one died from injuries last Monday, while the other survived, sacrificing a hand and foot. Two others were killed in shark attacks in the same region last year.

These incidents are an example of a larger rise in shark attacks throughout the Indian Ocean. Oh wait, wasn’t it just recently that we were reporting on Australian shark attacks?

See a visual graph of shark attacks in the last 100 years (made up of half eaten silhouettes) by the Washington Post here!