Shark attacks 'will keep rising'

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Posted by on February 21, 2005 at 23:35:54:

SHARK attacks on humans rose slightly in 2004 to 61 worldwide, and will rise more, according to a new study.
The 2003 International Shark Attack Files reported 61 unprovoked shark attacks including seven deaths: two in Australia; two in the US; and one each in Brazil, Egypt and South Africa.

The attacks rose above 57 in 2003, but were fewer than 63 in 2002, 68 in 2001 and 78 in 2000.

However, the attacks have been rising since the beginning of the 20th century, and reached their high point in 1990, with 481 in 10 years, according to the group, which keeps the worldwide statistics.

The cause is not a growing appetite for human flesh among sharks, George Burgess, the group's director, said.

"There's more people, each year there's more people on the face of the Earth and more of those people in fact, are going into the water each year," he said.

Mr Burgess said that the 1975 film Jaws helped raise awareness and lower injuries, but for the wrong reasons.

"I'm sure it did have some effect, but in this case is purely bad science," said the scientist based at the University of Florida in Gainsville.

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