Stab Magazine | 2015 set the all-time record for shark attacks
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2015 set the all-time record for shark attacks

Words by Jed Smith  So it wasn’t just us. The stats are in and 2015 set the all-time record for shark attacks around the globe, a total of 98. The previous record set in 2000 saw 88 attacks. Here in Australia the shark panic has been at fever pitch following a cluster of nine attacks in 12 months along […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Words by Jed Smith 

So it wasn’t just us. The stats are in and 2015 set the all-time record for shark attacks around the globe, a total of 98. The previous record set in 2000 saw 88 attacks.

Here in Australia the shark panic has been at fever pitch following a cluster of nine attacks in 12 months along the famed point-break stretch of the NSW far north coast. It followed a similar run on the west coast in from 2011 to 2013 in which seven fatalities were registered.

Florida unsurprisingly, had the highest number of attacks in the world last year with 30 – over half of the USA’s total of 59. Hawaii saw seven attacks, Australia 18 and South Africa eight – one of which was suffered by Mick Fanning in the final of the J-Bay Pro.

The researchers also paid special attention to Reunion Island, where seven people have been killed in five years, labelling the situation as “worrisome” and that it “suggests that appropriate management of the situation is still wanting.”

As for what’s behind the record breaking year, the science available says it’s not due to a rise in shark numbers, but rather an increase in the amount of humans accessing the coastline. This is despite scientists having no real clue how much certain shark populations, including the Great White, have increased in numbers since they were placed on the protected list.

“As world population continues its upsurge, and interest in aquatic recreation concurrently rises, we realistically should expect increases in the number of shark attacks and other aquatic recreation-related injuries,” read the report. “Shark populations are actually declining or holding at greatly reduced levels in many areas of the world as a result of over-fishing and habitat loss, theoretically reducing the opportunity for these shark-human interactions. However, year-to-year variability in local meteorological, oceanographic, and socioeconomic conditions also significantly influences the local abundance of sharks and humans in the water and, therefore, the odds of encountering one another.”

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