Reunion: A blue-ribbon island

Transparent kayak - © IRT/ Studio Lumière

Published on 31 August 2015

Reunion Island has in recent years established itself as a premier adventure holiday destination, offering way beyond just ordinary beach vacations, it includes a large variety of adventure activities, both land and ocean based.

For locals, the island is a real breeding ground for champions of surfing. After the victory of Johanne Defay at the Vans 2015 US Open at the beginning of August, it was the turn of Jeremy Flores – Honorary Ambassador for Reunion Island – imposing himself on the Billabong Pro Tahiti 2015 on August 27 while wearing the French colors. Currently, these two are ranked in sixth and seventh place respectively in the world rankings.
Today, an effective shark-risk reduction plan has come to bear fruit, primarily on the west coast of Reunion Island, the mecca of water sports on the island. Various measures have been put in place, especially on the beaches of the municipality of Saint-Paul. Among those measures are targeted shark fishing, shark lookouts, and the development of water sports arenas. On the beaches of Boucan Canot and Roches Noires, it was the installation of safety nets which commenced since August 20. These devices allow now for a re-opening of these sites for the practice of swimming and water activities before the end of 2015. 

In total, nearly 1,500 meters of nets will ultimately be developed. A similar work plan was also initiated at Trois Bassins where targeted shark fishing is already hugely effective. An additional safety net will be installed in 2016 with a re-opening of this iconic surfing site expected in the course of next year. In the east of Reunion Island, it is the town of Saint-Benoît which is considering the deployment of added beach security measures in order to fully realize its tourism potential. For now, though, the regulations implemented by the prefecture have shown promising results and have supported a resurgence of water sports activities.