NAT GEO REPORT: Shark Attack Risk Is Down Sharply Since 1950

Credit, C & M Fallows/; used by permission. For instance, Cape Town (South Africa)- also known as the “Cape of Storms” – is an incredible location to capture great white sharks hunting.


Those of us old enough to remember the 1975 movie “Jaws” probably recall the irrational fear it provoked of wading into the ocean in general, and specifically of sharks, particularly the great white one.

This week marks the start of both shark events, and Nat Geo Wild, which reaches about half of US households, definitely wants you to get the two confused – as indicated by all of its marketing material – in hopes of stealing a few viewers from Discovery.

Stanford researcher Francesco Ferretti says more study is needed to account for the apparent disparity. They weighted the numbers with information on coastal population growth and seasonal and weekly beach going, surfing, scuba diving, abalone diving, and swimming.

California has grown considerably since the 1950’s.

Protective measures must be scaled up significantly in order to avoid further depletion and the possible extinction of many shark species in our lifetime. To test the pack theory, the trio dives at night, when the sharks are even bolder.

Co-author Fiorenza Micheli, Ferretti’s postdoctoral advisor at Stanford, sees a win-win for healthier oceans and safer coasts.

“Feeding aggregations of blacktip and spinner sharks can sometimes be seen from the beach here in the warmer months”, says Heuter.

Culling is also expensive. In some places like Western Australia, policymakers have responded to attacks with calls for shark culls, or mass killings of the marine animal. The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Shark Specialist Group has estimated that the Northeast Atlantic population of the spiny dogfish has declined by over 95%. Additional data on ocean users is needed. But there’s still a small risk, and if we can’t accept that, Burgess said, we have to stay on the beach. The company sold 3,500 by the middle of Shark Week and raised close to $20,000. Since 2008, a Great White has been stalking Surf Beach California every two years during October. Slow growing, with late maturity and few progeny, sharks are sensitive animals that do not have the biological characteristics to sustain this level of exploitation. “In fact, I heard an interesting quote today – that you’re more likely to be killed by a champagne bottle cork than a shark”.

So what is going on in North Carolina? Attack survivor Jenny Oliver and researcher Kina Scollay are on a quest to find out if the mysterious Sevengill sharks are targeting divers…and are they hunting in packs? Conditions have improved for the sharks.

Hazard on California coast has dropped by more than 91 percent since 1950, as reported by study. Restrictions on use of drift gill nets, which have a high rate of bycatch, have improved the survival of juvenile sharks. In Malaysia, Shark stewards has joined forces with the Sabah Shark Alliance to reduce shark overfishing and help dive and ecotour operators save their sharks, rays, and coral reef diversity through increased marine protections.

Courtney Hemerick encounters a shark off the coast of Huntington Beach, California, while paddle-boarding.

Climate change affects nearly all of the ocean’s inhabitants from sharks to coral.

“This is an important result”, said Micheli.

Ros Sharp: Excuse my ignorance but aren’t people entering the ocean at their own risk.

The possibility of these sharks being here yearly is exciting to him.

Experts say while shark attacks are not rare, it is unusual to see so many in a short period of time.

Workers there say they’ve been preparing for “Shark Week” for weeks now, and they can’t wait for you and your family to come visit. At the same time, people need to approach the ocean with precaution and respect.


“It’s a very tricky topic, because it is their realm and people do get attacked”, she said. The study found that incidents with sharks over the last sixty years have progressively moved closer to elephant seal colonies.

Shark attack rates slip 90% since 1950s researchers say