Shark attacks: Fatal shark attacks reach seven year high for 2021

Shark attacks drone in shocking moment

In 2020, there were 57 unprovoked shark attacks across the planet. Attacks were down from 64 in 2019, and 66 in 2018, according to scientists from the International Shark File. Swimmers in US shores were the most attacked by sharks, the researchers said.

Around the US, 33 people were bitten by sharks, while Australia was second with 18 attacks.

The researchers, however, did note the number of shark attacks which proved to be fatal was disproportionately high.

Ten people died last year as a result of being mauled by a shark, going against a rather tranquil trend.

2019 saw no fatal shark attacks, and there was only one in 2018.

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Last year was the deadliest year for shark attacks since 2013, but the researchers hope it is just an anomaly in the data.

Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s shark research programme, said: “It’s a dramatic spike, but it’s not yet cause for alarm.

“We expect some year-to-year variability in bite numbers and fatalities.

“One year does not make a trend. 2020’s total bite count is extremely low, and long-term data show the number of fatal bites is decreasing over time.”

Six fatal shark attacks were caused by great whites, while two were from tiger shark bites and two could not be identified to species.

It is likely the increase in fatal shark attacks was more to do with people being unlucky when encountering a great white.

Mr Naylor said: “A blacktip can give you four stitches while a nibble from a white shark can remove your leg.

“They’re supremely better swimmers than humans, and they’ve got a nasty set of choppers at the front.”

Of the 10 people to die from a shark attack last year, eight of these fatalities came in Australian waters.

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It is the first time since 1934 that there were more than six deadly shark attacks in Australia.

Five years before, in 1929, there were eight fatal shark attacks.

However, overall, as mentioned, shark attacks were down in 2020.

The team believe the coronavirus pandemic which has affected all quarters of the globe may have played a part in the downturn of shark attacks.

As more people were forced to stay inside due to lockdowns, there were naturally fewer people in the seas.

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