​Shark Attack Record Climbs To Unprecedented Number Than Prior Years

Shark Attack Record
Author: Jennifer HongBy:
Staff Reporter
Feb. 10, 2016

The shark attack record climbs to 98 incidents worldwide, with 26 more than the previous year. The attack number was 40 more than the figure form one decade prior in 2015 with six deaths, according to RT.

The International Shark Attack File reported an unprecedented number of unprovoked shark attacks. The shark record suggests the animals are getting less shy around humans as the number increases, and that would mean they are becoming more aggressive?

Shark attack record soars in latest international file

Shark attack record soars in latest international file

“The numerical growth in human-shark interactions does not necessarily mean there is an increase in the rate of shark attacks,” said the report from the ISAF, which is run through the Florida Museum of Natural History. “It most likely is a function of the growing human population.” In other words, when you have more humans — specifically, more humans who go swimming in the world’s oceans — you’ll likely have more shark attacks.

But the shark attack record has on a consistent uptick from year to year. That figure ebbs and flows, oftentimes going up (or down) by double digits on any given year.

Still, the general decades-long trend for the shark record is unmistakable. So, too, is the fact the 2015 number of shark attacks dwarfs that of any other year. And there’s good reason for that, according to George Burgess, the International Shark Attack File’s curator. “We had a double whammy of warming water temperatures,” Burgess said.

Burgess cited the global weather phenomenon known as El Niño, which has the general effect of heating up ocean waters. For sharks who like it warmer, that means they end up in more places, perhaps more north in the Northern Hemisphere, more south in the Southern than they would otherwise. For people, they’ll be at the beach more often earlier and later in the season.

And when you have more people on the planet, overall, it means more opportunities for them to interact with sharks. That’s true in a place like Florida, now the nation’s third most populous state, which had the majority of all U.S. shark attacks last year — 30 — and alone had over 30% of the worldwide total. In the United States, North and South Carolina tied for second place in the shark record, each with eight attacks logged in their coastal waters.

Florida research

As Burgess, who’s also the head of the Florida Program for Shark Research, explains: “It means there’s more time for sharks and humans to get together.”

Contrary to what you may remember from the movie “Jaws,” sharks and human interactions don’t have to be fatal. In fact, ISAF recorded only six such deaths last year. That’s in line with the historic average for the shark record, and well below some other years (like 10 fatalities in 2000 and 2014, or the 13 in 2011).

The United States shark attack record shows only one death in its 59 documented cases. This also means anything from a deadly bite to a mere nudge.

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