The United States, with its abundant coastlines and ever-growing numbers of recreational water users had 59 unprovoked shark attacks reported last year. Australia and South Africa had the second and third largest numbers of attacks, with 18 and eight respectively.
Video: Shark Attack! Tips to Fight Back
Within the United States, Florida had the most shark attacks of any state, with 30. North and South Carolina had the next greatest, with eight apiece. Hawaii saw seven attacks and had the country's only fatality. The remaining U.S. incidents for 2015 occurred in California, Texas, Mississippi and New York.
Burgess explained that climate change is warming ocean waters, causing water temperatures to spike earlier in the season and to warm a larger range of coastline. The conditions have been a draw to both sharks and humans.
"We can and should expect the number of attacks to be higher each year," he said. "When we visit the sea, we're on their turf."
Over a Million Sharks Killed Annually
To avoid adding to the yearly tally, Burgess and his team advise not to swim at dusk, dawn or night. They also say not to wear shiny jewelry in the water, and not to swim where people are fishing, where fish are schooling or where seabirds are feeding.