Shark Attack Stats: Why So Unpredictable?: Page 2


Tiger sharks are one of the big three sharks of concern to experts because they tend to be large, with huge serrated teeth that can lead to serious injuries and fatalities. The other two in the big three are great whites and bull sharks. Most attacks, however, are by smaller whitetip and blacktip sharks, particularly in waters off of Florida.

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Ocean current changes and climate greatly influence shark attack stats.

“If there’s a hurricane, obviously most people aren’t going to be flocking to the beach,” Burgess said.

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There additionally is a domino effect, where changes in temperature could impact the amount and location of typical prey, which would then alter shark migration routes.

Global climate change is affecting the entire system.

“We are seeing more warm water species moving up coastlines as water temperatures increase,” Burgess said. “Sharks from the South are moving north.”

In response to the increased number of shark attacks, Australia and Natal, South Africa, are culling great white sharks, which actually prefer colder waters and are highly endangered.

“Culling is very poorly considered and can only be characterized as revenge killings,” Burgess said. “Other countries have reduced their number of attacks using more effective ways.”

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