Global shark attacks (1) infographic
Graphic shows shark attacks over the past five years with 2014 breakout.


Global shark attacks

By Duncan Mil

July 19, 2015 - Australian surfing champion Mick Fanning fought off a huge shark during a competition in South Africa on Sunday. There have been 49 shark attacks recorded this year of which six have been fatal, according to Twenty two attacks took place in U.S. waters, four off Australia and two attacks off South Africa.

A number of factors could be contributing to the apparent rash of attacks, such as warmer water and drought conditions, said George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida.

Drought conditions reduce the amount of freshwater making it to the sea, which creates an environment along the shore where high salt levels attract more fish and sharks, Burgess told CNN.

Warmer waters have sharks in North Carolina ahead of schedule, which is a recipe for more attacks. Burgess said that people are going to the beach in higher numbers, now that school is out for the summer.

PUBLISHED: 20/07/2015; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images