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Shark Attacks at Record Level in 2000

February 18, 2001|REUTERS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The number of shark attacks on people last year reached record levels, University of Florida officials reported this month. They attributed the increase to tourism in remote locales and improved communication.

Seventy-nine unprovoked shark attacks were reported last year, the most since the International Shark Attack File began compiling statistics in 1958. In 1999, 58 attacks were recorded. Despite the increase, only 10 people died from shark attacks last year--fewer than in the 1990s, which averaged 12.7 deaths per year, the report said.

Researchers said more people are spending time in the water in exotic places such as Ecuador's Galapagos Islands and Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.

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