The capital of New Caledonia has banned swimming at its beaches for the rest of 2023 after experiencing multiple shark attacks in the first few months of the year.
New Caledonia is a French territory in the Pacific Ocean about 1,500 kilometres from Brisbane.
Beaches in its capital Nouméa were banned from swimming after three shark attacks in the first two months of the year. This included a previously fatal attack on an Australian tourist in February.
Further details on the Nouméa swimming ban:
The ban came into place in February. It’s only active in Nouméa.
It’s a “temporary precautionary measure” to allow local authorities to prepare shark nets on major beaches and develop tourism safety activities.
Beaches in the rest of New Caledonia and small islands near Nouméa are still available for swimming.
Because of the ban, a new restricted and supervised swimming area will be made available at a Nouméa beach from Friday. Other beaches will still be banned from swimming.
Shark attacks in New Caledonia:
New Caledonia has averaged about one shark attack per year from 1958 to 2020.
The majority of shark attack victims were spearfishers and freedivers. This was followed by swimmers (19%) and then people involved in water sports (14%).
New Caledonia experienced 19 unprovoked shark attacks over its history, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History. This is the 13th most among all nations and territories, behind countries including Australia, Mexico, and Fiji.