Shark Attack Fatalities Spiked Last Year

But no deaths occurred in US: new report
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2012 2:13 PM CST
Shark Attack Fatalities Spiked Last Year
A Great White Shark swims in Shark Alley near Dyer Island on July 8, 2010 in Gansbaai, South Africa.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Shark attack deaths saw a significant spike last year, reaching their highest number in almost 20 years. None of the deaths, however, occurred in the US, which has seen decreasing shark attack numbers in recent years. A new report tallies 75 shark attacks around the world in 2011, and notes that fatalities reached 16%. That's double the percentage of shark attack deaths in 2010; for the past decade, the fatalities have averaged less than 7%, LiveScience reports.

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The director of the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File, which released the report, says the numbers indicate that tourists are increasingly heading to more remote destinations. "We had a number of fatalities in essentially out-of-the-way places, where there's not the same quantity and quality of medical attention readily available," he explains. Of last year's shark attacks, 29 occurred in the US, and 11 of those were in Florida. Surfers and others engaging in board sports were the most at risk. (Read more shark attack stories.)

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