Mar 01 2009
Although the recent shark attacks in Sydney do not seem to be any indication of the trend, a reknowned shark researcher, George Burgess, has suggested that the recession is resulting in fewer shark attacks. (link) In spite of all the hype and string of attacks in Zihuatanejo, New Smyrna Beach, and San Diego last year, shark attacks have been the lowest in a decade.
Sharks attacked 59 people in 2008, the lowest number of attacks since 57 in 2003, according to George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File, part of the Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville. There were 71 attacks in 2007.
Fewer people, especially outside of the United States, have the resources to go to the beach, he said.
“To have a shark attack, you have to have humans and sharks in the water at the same time,” Burgess said. “If you have a reduction in the number of people in the water, you’re going to have a reduction in the opportunities for people and sharks to get together.”
“We noticed similar declines during the recession that followed the events of 2001, despite the fact that human populations continued to rise,” the ichthyologist said.
Sharks killed four people in 2008, Burgess said: one in California, one in Australia and two in Mexico.
Forty-one of the 59 attacks worldwide came in the United States, and 32 of those occurred in Florida.
Surfers accounted for 57 percent of shark attacks, swimmers and waders were the targets in 36 percent of the attacks, and divers the rest, he said.
Check out all the latest shark news on Surftherenow.com here.
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