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A paddle boarder has been reportedly savaged to death by a shark after a fisherman found his mauled body.
The 53-year-old was discovered with evidence of shark bites near a beach in Noumea, New Caledonia in the South Pacific.
It is the latest in a number of attacks since the start of the year.
The lifeless body of the paddle boarder was found last Saturday just off the Nouville peninsula, on the main island of the French Overseas territory.
An autopsy into the cause of death if expected on Monday.
State prosecutor Yves Dupas said: "At this stage, investigators do indeed suspect a shark attack."
New Caledonia is a French territory 750 miles east of Australia.
Authorities regularly issue shark alerts and warn swimmers to be vigilant for species found in the waters surrounding the islands.
There have been a number of shark attacks in New Caledonia this year already.
In February, a 57-year-old man was killed near Maitre island after being bitten by a shark that witnesses claimed was four metres long.
Authorities also think the disappearance of a swimmer and a boater earlier this year could be due to sharks that have settled along the coasts near Noumea.
Last month 24 sharks that officials say were particularly large or aggressive were culled near the territory's capital.
Scientists think shifting hunting grounds, the weather, an increase in staycations, overfishing – catching too many fish at once – and chance may have played a role in the increase in attacks.
In total, eight men and one woman were killed by sharks in 2020.
Last year Dr Blake Chapman, a marine biologist, said some attacks with multiple bites suggested the beasts may be preying on humans.
She said: "In some of the cases this year it sounds like the shark hung around and bit more than once, which is unusual behaviour for great white sharks.
"When they bite more than once it’s more likely to be fatal as there’s more blood loss."
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- Great White Shark
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