2015 sets record for most shark attacks, with 98 worldwide

In this image made available by the World Surf League, Australian surfer Mick Flanning is pursued by a shark, in Jeffrey's Bay, South Africa, Sunday, July 19, 2015. Knocked off his board by an attacking shark, a surfer punched the creature during the televised finals of a world surfing competition in South Africa before escaping. Fanning was attacked by a shark on Sunday during the JBay Open but escaped without injuries. (W orld Surf League via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT TO WORLDSURFLEAGUE.COM.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Experts say 2015 saw a record-setting 98 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide, including 30 in Florida alone.

The Florida Museum of Natural History released the numbers Monday. Scientists say the previous record was 88 attacks in 2000.

International Shark Attack File curator George Burgess says attacks are expected to continue to increase as human populations grow and shark populations recover.

Of the six fatalities last year, two happened off the Indian Ocean island of Reunion; the others occurred off Australia, Egypt, New Caledonia and the United States.

The U.S. led the world with 59 attacks, including those in Florida, eight in each of the Carolinas and seven in Hawaii. California and Texas each had two attacks, and New York and Mississippi each had one.

Australia and South Africa followed the U.S. with 18 and 8 attacks, respectively.

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