Shark Attack Report
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LAST MONTH’S FATAL SHARK ATTACK OFF THE FLORIDA COAST MAY HAVE SCARED SOME PEOPLE OUT OF THE WATER, BUT THE LATEST STUDY SHOWS SHARKS HAD LESS INTEREST IN PEOPLE SWIMMING OR SURFING IN US WATERS LAST YEAR.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA RESEARCHERS TRACKED 28 UNPROVOKED ATTACKS IN UNITED STATES WATERS IN 2009. THAT’S DOWN FROM 41 IN 2008. FLORIDA STILL LEADS THE COUNTRY IN ATTACKS, BUT THE NUMBERS DROPPED IN FLORIDA WATERS, TOO.
George Burgess/UF shark expert: “In the United States and Florida we had notable drops in the number of attacks down by about a third in the US and by 40% in Florida. So we are very happy in the local region in the sense that there was a lot less activity on our home turf.”
SHARK ATTACKS WORLDWIDE ACTUALLY WENT UP SLIGHTLY IN 2009 AND EXPERTS SAY THE FIRST DECADE OF THE CENTURY DID HIT A RECORD FOR ATTACKS. THEY SAY MORE AND MORE PEOPLE IN THE WATER BOOSTS THE ODDS OF A SHARK ENCOUNTER. YET OVER THE PAST DECADE, THANKS TO BETTER MEDICAL CARE, FATALITIES FROM SHARK ATTACKS HAVE DROPPED.
George Burgess/UF shark expert: “The past decade, we’ve been averaging about 4 fatalities worldwide, which put into perspective, of literally billions and billions of people that are entering the water every year, pretty much means that shark attacks and death by shark attack are minor blips on the grand scale of things.”
AND EXPERTS SAY SWIMMERS AND SURFERS WHO SHOW CAUTION IN THE WATER CAN HELP KEEP IT THAT WAY.