Incidents of people being bitten by sharks are extremely rare. Of the more than 500 known species of shark, only a very few are considered to be potentially dangerous to humans. But it’s often difficult to identify the shark species involved in a bite incident, and in some cases the wrong species is blamed.

40% of the world’s population now live within 100km of a coast - a figure expected to increase significantly in the coming decades. In addition, the popularity of water-sports continues to grow. This means that each year, around the world hundreds of thousands more people are entering a wider range of marine environments for longer periods of time - environments which they share with large marine animals: dolphins, seals, whales and, of course, sharks.

For more information and data please go to the Shark Attack Data website

Banner image © Tom Vierus