Study: Shark attacks declining

February 13, 2006

University of Florida scientists say shark attacks worldwide were lower in number last year, continuing a five-year downturn.

The researchers say greater safety precautions and "in-your-face" responses to confrontations with sharks went a long way in reducing the total number of attacks from 65 during 2004 to 58 in 2005 and fatalities from seven to four, said George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File housed at UF's Florida Museum of Natural History.

In contrast, there were 78 shark attacks -- 11 of them fatal -- during 2000, the all-time high record year for attacks since statistics have been kept.

Despite the worldwide decline, the number of attacks in the United States rose slightly, from 30 in 2004 to 38 last year. But that is still much lower than the recorded high of 52 in 2000.

In addition to last year's 38 U.S. attacks, Burgess tracked 10 in Australia, four in South Africa and one each in the Bahamas, St. Martin, Mexico, Fiji, Vanuatu and South Korea.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Jumping the shark: Scientists say predators protect marine ecosystems, blue carbon

Related Stories

Need for reliable data on sharks

September 15, 2015

It is a fact – there have been 25 shark attacks in the past eight months in Australia, compared with 23 in all of 2014. However, scientists dispute this nominal increase is cause for a shark cull in northern NSW.

A factor in shark attack increase: More people in water

June 17, 2015

Federal wildlife protections are helping sharks rebound, but they aren't the sole reason for the uptick in encounters between sharks and humans. Expanding human populations and growing use of beaches are major factors too, ...

2012 US shark attacks highest since 2000

February 11, 2013

Shark attacks in the U.S. reached a decade high in 2012, while worldwide fatalities remained average, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File report released today.

Recommended for you

New method facilitates research on fuel cell catalysts

October 8, 2015

While the cleaning of car exhausts is among the best known applications of catalytic processes, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Practically the entire chemical industry relies on catalytic reactions. Therefore, catalyst ...

Ancient genome from Africa sequenced for the first time

October 8, 2015

The first ancient human genome from Africa to be sequenced has revealed that a wave of migration back into Africa from Western Eurasia around 3,000 years ago was up to twice as significant as previously thought, and affected ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.