Maritime Safety Advisory press communiqué update


Exclusion nets
The team preparing the exclusion nets for Praslin have now completed the preparation of the three exclusion nets.  Two of these nets will be installed at Anse Lazio and another at Petite Anse Kerlan over the weekend.  Once these nets are in place, the authorities will consider easing the swimming and snorkelling ban within the area of the nets.

Best practices guide for swimmers
A guide has been prepared with the support of a team of experts and distributed to tourism establishments, for them to advise their guests with factual information on safety matters while swimming or snorkelling.  The guide provides many simple precautions that can be taken by swimmers and divers to improve their safety in general.  The authorities will be distributing to the general public soon.

Shark tooth DNA analysis
The shark tooth fragment found in the second victim’s leg has now been sent to genetic experts in Florida for DNA testing.

Identification of the species of shark involved in the attack will be attempted by DNA analyses of the tooth fragments available. If any dentin remains in the shark tooth fragments, it may be possible to extract the DNA in the dentin which will allow identification of the shark species by DNA bar-coding procedures. According to shark genetics expert, Prof. Mahmood Shivji of Nova South Eastern University in Florida, USA, there is an approximately fifty-fifty chance that the tooth fragments will contain enough DNA to analyse.

Dr Mahmood Shivji is the Director of the Guy Harvey Research Institute and Save Our Seas Shark Center at Nova South Eastern University in Florida, USA. He is an international authority on shark genetics research. His work includes major discoveries in shark conservation and biology, including identifying shark fins in the fin trade and the discovery that sharks can reproduce by virgin birth.

Results are expected early in October 2011.

Meanwhile the ban on swimming in Anse Lazio, Petit Anse Kerlan, Grand Anse Kerlan, Anse Georgette, Curieuse and St Pierre is still on.  In other areas, swimmers and divers are being asked to take all necessary precautions.

In the meantime, all fishermen who catch a shark are being asked to report to Rodney Quatre, the research manager of the National Parks Authority who is collecting data on sharks.  His phone number is 2726104.
For media information, please contact Jean Toussaint on 2722352.

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