US shark attacks increase in 2012

Study says Florida leads nation in shark attacks

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - A new report says shark attacks increased in the U.S. last year.

According to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File, Florida had more shark bites than any other state.

James Fyfe, who survived a shark bite off Neptune beach last year, says the figures don't surprise him.

"I know somebody else got bit in St. Augustine the same day on his foot. So I don't know, maybe it was just bad luck," said Fyfe.

"Are you concerned to go in the water?" asked Channel 4's Scott Johnson.

"No, not so much the water. I really think surfing poses more of a threat," said Fyfe.

Fyfe is one of a record 80 people recorded around the world last year who were bit by sharks in verified unprovoked attacks. Research shows 53 of the attacks were in the U.S.

Dr. Quinton White runs the Marine Science Research Institute at Jacksonville University.

"We do some flights down the coast where it's remarkable how many times we see a surfer and a shark close to one another and people don't even realize it," said Dr. White.

White said the reason for the high numbers worldwide simply comes down to population.

"The world's population goes up and the world's income goes up and they have more time to do leisurely activities like swimming in the water. Then the higher probability you're going to have shark attacks occur. The sharks are out there all the time anyway," said White.  

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