The increase in shark attack shouldn't be blamed on the fish, said Burgess. Increasing human populations around the globe are spending more time in the ocean which increases the chances of shark attack. Surfers need to be especially vigilant. Sixty percent of attacks were on surfers.
"Shark attacks are rare and it doesn't matter whether you call them attacks or bites or bumps – your chances of having any of them are slim," Burgess said. "We could reduce risks by avoiding areas and times when sharks are most common, and where danger is at its highest. A perfect example of that is in Western Australia, where people have been getting hit in areas of known white shark abundance at times of year when white shark numbers are at their highest – the responsibility is upon us, as humans, to avoid such situations or else pay the consequence."
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IMAGE: Underwater view of photographer swimming next to Oceanic whitetip shark (Carcharhinus longimanus) in Pacific Ocean off the coast of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. (Corbis)