France offers to pay fishermen to kill bull sharks
A school of 250 to 300-pound bull sharks close in a redfish being caught in the Gulf of Mexico out of Sabine Pass near Port Arthur, Texas. (AP Photo/The Beaumont Enterprise, Pete Churton)
Published Wednesday, August 1, 2012 10:02AM EDT
PARIS -- France says it will pay fishermen who kill bull sharks in waters off the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion, following a spike in shark attacks and the death of a surfer last week.
Authorities described the financial incentives as unprecedented for the French-administered island and necessary to encourage shark killings.
The amount being offered is still being decided upon, but the money would likely be paid out per kilo of shark meat.
From 2000-2010 there were no shark attacks in the area and no need for culling.
But last week's tragedy, in which a 22-year-old died after a shark bit off his leg, was the seventh attack -- and the third fatality -- since the start of 2011.
Animal rights groups are criticizing the culling plans, calling it "extermination."