The authorities in New Caledonia have begun culling protected sharks in a central Noumea bay after a boy lost a leg in a shark attack last month.
The move to kill 20 sharks has caused dismay and within hours of the decision, thousands of people signed a petition calling for the cull to be stopped.
The shark attack as well as further shark sightings prompted the closure of several more Noumea beaches last week.
The provincial government and the Noumea city administration said they will observe the situation over the next few months and may order further culls.
Reports suggested more sharks were being observed because they had been fed close to shore although it's illegal to do so.
The reports also said there were more boats and people in the lagoon, and more waste was being thrown into the sea.