Shark Attacks Reach New High in 2015

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Last year was not a good time to swim with sharks, according to new data. The big fish attacked humans 98 times worldwide last year, the most since the University of Florida began recording the International Shark Attack File 57 years ago.

The incidents tallied by the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida do not include those in which a human provoked the shark, according to a statement from the museum.

Most of those bitten by a shark escaped with just injuries, but sharks also killed six people in 2015. Most attacks occurred in the U.S., which racked up a record 59 incidents. Australia came in second with 18 attacks, and South Africa came in third with eight.

Before 2015, the most shark attacks ever logged in a single year was 88 in 2000. The uptick is likely a result of the growing shark population and the fact that people are spending more time in the sea, George Burgess of the Florida Museum of Natural History said in a statement.

“Sharks plus humans equals attacks,” he said. “As our population continues to rapidly grow and shark populations slowly recover, we’re going to see more interactions.” Burgess added that warmer waters could be contributing to the increased number of attacks.

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