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Deadly shark attacks rise in 2020, highest rate since 2013

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Posted at 3:19 PM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 12:51:26-05

In a report released by the Florida Museum of Natural History, 10 people were killed by sharks worldwide in 2020, which is the highest number since 2013.

According to the International Shark Attack File, there were 13 shark-related fatalities in 2020, 10 of which were confirmed to be unprovoked. Six of those fatalities happened in Australia, and three were in the US - California, Maine, and Hawaii. The other death occurred in St. Martin’s, a Caribbean island.

On Monday, the report stated sharks attacked 57 people unprovoked worldwide last year, but that number is low for nonfatal attacks below the average of 80.

"Annual fluctuations in shark-human interactions are common," the report stated. "Despite 2020’s spike in fatalities, long-term trends show a decreasing number of annual fatalities. Year-to-year variability in oceanographic, socioeconomic, and meteorological conditions significantly influences the local abundance of sharks and humans in the water."

Ten is a high number: in 2019, two deaths were recorded, and four died in 2018, USA Today reported. The annual global average is five or six.