Shark assaults throughout the globe have doubled within the final 20 years, in keeping with a current examine.

The examine, printed Wednesday in PLOS ONE, was the primary statistical evaluation of shark assaults worldwide and checked out assaults from 1960 to 2015.

Whereas the statistics appear staggering, researchers clarified that the speed of assault continues to be low and the likeliness of somebody getting attacked varies based mostly on location.

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Stephen Halfway, an assistant professor with the Division of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences at Louisiana State College, led the analysis and mentioned the rise in shark assaults is much less a couple of rise in harmful sharks and extra about rising human populations alongside the coasts.

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“As growth will increase alongside the coast and in seashore communities, extra residents and vacationers frequent these waters. With extra individuals within the water, the possibility for a shark assault will increase,” Halfway defined in a press release.

“Nonetheless, I need to stress the truth that not all locations throughout the globe noticed a rise. And even within the locations the place we noticed a rise, the probabilities have been nonetheless one in a number of million,” he added.

Halfway and his colleagues used knowledge from the Worldwide Shark Assault File on the College of Florida’s Florida Museum of Pure Historical past to finish their evaluation.

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Utilizing time collection fashions in 14 international locations — extra particularly, areas inside the U.S., Australia and South Africa, which had the very best charges of shark assaults — Halfway and his staff discovered that shark assault charges have doubled over the past 20 years in extremely populated areas such because the East Coast and southern Australia.

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Even with elevated assaults, the charges remained low. Over the 55-year interval of the examine, Halfway discovered there have been just one,215 shark assaults within the U.S. and solely 24 of these have been deadly.

Many of the different assaults resulted in minor pores and skin accidents, much like canine bites.

“We ought to think about the chance of a shark assault like we might consider the chance of a automobile accident. For instance, we don’t assess our private danger of getting right into a automobile accident by the nationwide statistics on automobile accidents yr over yr. We take into consideration our particular automobile, the climate, the street circumstances and different very native components,” Halfway mentioned.

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Halfway, who usually research fish ecology, was impressed to look into the topic after a collection of shark assaults have been reported in North Carolina in 2015.

“I used to be curious what the chance of shark assaults is in a sure variety of years at completely different locations around the globe,” Halfway mentioned.

“Whereas shark assaults are sometimes reported in numbers, we factored within the regional human populations to find out the speed of shark assaults worldwide. I feel this data might contribute to a extra scientifically grounded dialogue about sharks generally and assist with the administration and conservation of them,” he continued.

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