Of course there is always a risk in everything we do; and shark encounter risk is no exception. However, we should keep in mind that injury or death from sharks is extremely low, even considering the recent attacks on the NSW north coast.
In the past fifty years, there have been 45 unprovoked fatalities from shark encounters in Australian waters – this is 0.9 a year. Some years there have been none; in others there have been up to five.
Shark encounters must be put into perspective. There are some 10 million beach visitations per year in Australia and, on any given summer’s day, there are thousands of people in the water at Australian beaches. Of course, this is not to say that there will be no shark encounters, but the probability is extremely low.
In future articles, I will write more on sharks, including an article verifying some of the theories, and debunking most of the others.
This article is paraphrased from the Shark Attack File of the Taronga Conservation Society.