Shark Attacks Up 25% Worldwide

three sharks swimmingEnvironmental changes may have led to Middle East shark attacks and a worldwide increase.

Shark attacks increased a whopping 25% worldwide, including recent attacks in Egypt. In the 2010 report released by the University of Florida International Shark File, file director and shark expert George Burgess said that “the most unusual shark incident of my career” occurred in Egypt.

The December 2010 Red Sea attacks, responsible for one of the year’s six fatalities, also led to 5 injuries.

Burgess gave several possible reasons for the attacks:

  • Very high water temperatures due to an unusually hot summer;
  • Sheep dumped into the water by a cargo ship after they died in transit;
  • Divers feeding reef fishes and even sharks.

Overfishing may also have led to sharks searching for new sources of food.

Usually the sharks are not found so close to the shore. The Egyptian authorities killed two of the sharks thought responsible for injuring 3 tourists, but they turned out to be the wrong sharks. The most vicious of the sharks struck a second time, killing a woman.

Florida, where most incidents occur, saw shark attacks drop to 12, half its annual average. The US still led with 36 attacks. Sharks also attacked humans in Australia, South Africa, and Vietnam.

Burgess emphasized that fishing kills 50-70,000 sharks a year, to be eaten as a delicacy in soup. Humans are a much greater danger to sharks than sharks are to humans. Sharks kill an average of 5 humans annually.

More posts on animals and the environment:

8 Exquisite and Endangered Animals of the Middle East

Governor Bans Recreational Sports Fishing in Southern Sinai

Protection Legislation Endangers Red Sea Sharks

:: photo via flickr: USFWS Pacific

:: story via MSNBC news:

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2 thoughts on “Shark Attacks Up 25% Worldwide”

  1. Yosefa says:

    It’s sad they killed those two innocent sharks by mistake.

  2. Shelley says:

    5 versus 70 000… I think the sharks have a long way to go to catch up to what us humans have done to them. I am not saying that anyone deserves to be attacked by a shark (but if you put a gun to my head I’m sure I could come up with a few thousand people off the top of my head) but no shark deserves to be slaughtered just for their fins. When are we going to wake up and realize just how quickly we are trashing the earth? This era will probably be remembered as one of the stupidest of humankind. We know what we are doing is wrong and many of us agree that it is and yet it still goes on – full steam ahead. Its a torture to watch.

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