Read the 2024 Edition of Discover Montserrat Magazine

Public Urged to Be Vigilant in Wake of Shark Attacks in Eastern Caribbean Waters

The Government of Montserrat is urging the public especially those who use the beach for recreational activities to be extremely vigilant as there has been an increase in shark sightings in the Eastern Caribbean.

The Ministry of Agriculture, which has responsibility for fisheries posted the notice to their Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon.

The warning comes on the heels of recent shark attacks in St. Martin and St. Kitts and Nevis.

Other regional governments have been sharing similar cautions to the public. Dominica’s government says some of the sightings include species which are rarely found in the region. The Fisheries Division has appealed to the public, especially those who use the marine environment for water sports and other recreational activities to be vigilant.

It has cautioned the public to be alert when venturing into the sea, and that individuals should not go out alone. Fishermen have been told to ensure that all required navigation and communication devices are available and functional during fishing expeditions.

Last December, a 38 year old French tourist died following an extremely rare shark attack off the coast of St. Martin about 500 feet from shore.

St. Martin government spokesman Alain Rioual said it was the first report of a fatal shark attack in the territory’s recent history. Following the incident, French authorities banned swimming and watersports at local beaches for 48 hours.

Last week in St. Kitts, there was a non-fatal shark attack near Booby Island in the channel between St. Kitts and Nevis. The victim, a female student attending Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, had to undergo emergency surgery before being airlifted out.

Attending doctors were asked to take a DNA swab from her injured leg to identify the type of shark that bit her, to see if it was the same species that killed the female tourist in St. Martin.