Since1998 the beaches where surfing has been prohibited include the following:
Olinda, one of the most picturesque colonial towns in the country; Praia del Chifre, Recife; the resort area of Boa Viagem including the quality Acaiaca reefs; the hollow reef breaks of Abreus; the reefs of Quebra Mar; the reliable SE facing beach breaks of Paiva and finally Pedra Preta.
Following the construction of a huge harbour in Boca de Suape in the early 90's, along with irresponsible coastal development and some serious over-fishing, the local eco-system experienced major changes. These changes were graphically illustrated at the top of the food chain where sharks began to go hungry and unsurprisingly, shark attacks on surfers increased dramatically. In the space of a few years there were six fatal attacks. The authorities, worried about dropping tourist numbers, responded by placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of surfers and banned surfing along a 60km (37mi) stretch of coast!
Bathers at this area are at greater than average risk of shark attack. Locals still surf and don't believe the situation is as dangerous as the government suggest and believe the ban should be lifted. It is unlikely that lifeguards will prevent people from surfing.The Brazilian Championships (Bodyboarding) are held in April in porto Galinhas, about 2 hours drive south from Recife.