The Bad Rap on Sharks - Oceana USA

The Bad Rap on Sharks

Sharks have a fearsome reputation, but only 3 of the more than 350 species of sharks are associated with nearly two-thirds of all shark attacks.

More than 2 million people visit US beaches each year. Between 2004 and 2008, a total of 196 shark attacks occurred in the United States, with only 4 fatalities. Even though shark attacks gain the most publicity, there are many beach-related accidents that cause more injuries and deaths each year than sharks, including car accidents driving to the beach, drowning and boating accidents.

In fact, you are more likely to be killed by a coconut falling on your head or a lightning strike than by a shark. 

Oceana hopes to debunk this myth of the man-eating shark. On the rare occasion when a shark attack does occur, it is usually a case of mistaken identity. They bite and release once they realize the human was not the prey they had hoped for. To avoid this confusion, there are precautions to take, such as not swimming at dawn or dusk, avoiding murky water and avoiding splashing and erratic swimming.