CHART: The number of unprovoked shark attacks is on the rise

The number of unprovoked shark attacks around the world is on the rise.

Between 1982 and 2011, 84.5% of the unprovoked shark bites were recorded in six countries: the US, Australia, South Africa, the Bahamas and Reunion Island.

According to Shark Shield, the primary reason for the rise is the increased use of coastal waters.

“At a regional or local level it can also be influenced by factors which for a period of time, change the habitat use of relevant shark species. In the example of white sharks, for instance, the distribution of prey such as humpback whales and pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) can influence the distribution of this species and the level of spatial overlap between sharks and water users,” Shark Shield said.

Of the more than 480 species of sharks, only three are responsible for the majority of fatalities – the white, the tiger and the bull.

But despite the increase of bites, the risk of attack is still extremely low.

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