Kelly Slater may be the last guy you’d expect to have said this, but you know what we’re always told about making assumptions.
Réunion Island is mourning yet another shark attack this week after 26-year-old Alexandre Naussance was attacked and killed by a shark in a stretch of coast where water activities are banned. It’s now the 20th attack on Réunion in just over five years. At this point, any attack or encounter here is a global headline with the level of tragedy the island’s people have endured over the years. And that’s why it wasn’t a surprise to see Jeremy Flores sharing his thoughts and taking part in the mourning after Naussance died before even getting to a hospital. But Kelly Slater’s response to an Instagram post from Flores is, like I said, something you might not have expected.
“Honestly, I won’t be popular for saying this but there needs to be a serious cull on Reunion and it should happen everyday [sic]. 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!?”
It’s worth pointing out that just yesterday a short video was released by Outerknown to announce the brand’s partnership with Ocean Conservancy. In the video, Slater made a few poignant statements about mankind’s need to take better care of the ocean.
“I sometimes imagine if all other animals and beings did the same amount of stuff that we do to the earth, how bad this place would be,” he said. “…I think we need some kind of shift in our awareness. There’s definitely other ways to do all these things that we do.”
“It’s not ok to ruin the natural world,” he closed with.
Flores responded on Instagram by thanking Slater for the message.
“Unfortunately, it feels like it’s difficult for people to understand the issues we are having here,” he wrote. “People are dying one after another and for some this sounds normal but it really isn’t. The community of Réunion island surfers are naturally ocean & environment lovers since many generations but things are getting really serious and we are tired of crying our brothers. It’s time for unity to protect our small Coast. Thank you for your comment, it gives hope that somebody who knows so well the environment is understanding the nightmare we are living here. And to all the other haters, please try to understand our situation here before giving a blind opinion.”