Kelly Slater calls for the culling of sharks off Reunion Island after another death

After the 20th shark attack off Reunion Island since 2011 occurred earlier this week, the world’s greatest surfer made a comment that “there needs to be a serious cull on Reunion and it should happen everyday.”

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Reunion Island’s own Jeremy Flores posted a tribute photo and heartfelt message about the 26-year-old bodyboarder Alexandre Naussance who was the victim earlier this week. Kelly Slater responded in the comments with the calling for a shark cull, which is essentially the killing of sharks to keep their population under control.

Slater’s comment is as follows:

“Honestly, I won’t be popular for saying this but there needs to be a serious cull on Reunion and it should happen everyday. There is a clear imbalance happening in the ocean there. If the whole world had these rates of attack nobody would use the ocean and literally millions of people would be dying like this. The French govt needs to figure this out asap. 20 attacks since 2011!?”

The comment is a bit perplexing, considering Slater and his sustainable clothing company Outerknown announced a campaign earlier this week that aims to shift perceptions of how our ocean is viewed.

Called “It’s Not OK”, the campaign is a partnership between Outerknown and the Ocean Conservancy that will see 100-percent of the “It’s Not OK” t-shirt go to ocean causes.

A post shared by Kelly Slater (@kellyslater) on

In the announcement for the campaign, Slater himself says, “We need to shift our awareness. It’s not OK to destroy our ocean.” One might feel that his recent comment seems to go against that line of thinking.

Slater does bring up the very serious point that “There is a clear imbalance happening in the ocean there,” which no one can deny. But is going out and killing sharks the proper solution to that?

It’s important that the French government addresses this problem, but it’s highly debatable whether shark culling is the way to go.