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Seychelles beaches reopened with emergency response plan now in place

Good news for those planning 2012 Seychelles holidays as the government has reopened the Seychelles beaches at Praslin. The beaches were closed following two fatal shark attacks in 2011 and officials have now put an emergency response plan in place.

Seychelles beaches reopened with emergency response plan now in place

Holidaymakers interested in heading to the Seychelles over the next few months will now be happy to know that officials have lifted the swim ban at some Praslin beaches, a ban which was previously in place due to concerns over two incidents of shark attacks that happened last year.

After the reopening of all the previously closed beaches in Praslin travellers now have the all clear to enjoy everything that the exotic Seychelles beaches have to offer. Following two fatal shark attacks in mid-2011 the local authorities had decided to close all the beaches on the island of Praslin and called on international experts from South Africa and Australia to hunt down the rogue shark and help develop an emergency response plan to enable them to deal with similar situations in the future.

Prior to the 2011 attacks the Seychelles had a long standing track record of safety in its waters which leads to many having identified the rare tragic shark attacks of 2011 as a side effect of global warming which has resulted in unusual behaviour from the shark population worldwide.

 La Digue- Seychelles
Image by: Mau71, on Flickr

Some experts have also noted that the increase in tourism combined with a lack of medical facilities to deal with emergencies of this type in places like the Seychelles, Reunion and New Caledonia, all of which experienced shark attacks in 2011, have resulted in the shark bites soon becoming fatalities. George Burgess, an ichthyologist at the University of Florida publisher of the “International Shark Attack File” stated, “Those areas were not traditional area for tourism in recent years…Over the last decade, more and more tourists have been going there… So we are getting more people coming to places where there are sharks, and the local communities are not prepared for the number of people going into the water at this time”

Keen to ensure that visitors feel safe on their Seychelles holidays the government enlisted the help of experts from South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal and have adopted 90 per cent of the experts’ recommendations to ensure that the islands’ marine safety is of a suitable standard.

 Anse Lazio - Praslin - Seychelles
Image by: Mau71, on Flickr

CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Alain St. Ange has demonstrated how seriously officials are taking their new responsibilities, “Seychelles waters have long enjoyed a well-justified reputation for safety…but we need to move with the times and, in our modern world of climate change and associated phenomena, we must not rest on our laurels but rather take every step to make sure that safe swimming continues to be a characteristic of a Seychelles holiday”.

Praslin, one of the larger Seychelles islands after the main island Mahe, is best known for its exotic white sand beaches and is a favourite spot for holidaymakers on their honeymoon. The exotic Anse Lazio beach in Praslin has been particularly popular with visitors seeking romantic holidays in Seychelles and has often been identified as one of the world’s best beaches.

The coral reefs at Praslin, bursting with a kaleidoscope of colour, are home to over 900 different species of exotic fishes and is a must see for anyone planning Seychelles holidays. Praslin is easily accessible from the main island; so holidaymakers have the option of either a 15 minute flight or a one-hour boat ride, either way the journey it’s definitely worth it.

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