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Friday, December 01, 2023

The economy has been said to kill businesses, but it may also be shrinking the number of Florida shark attacks.

UF’s International Shark Attack File annual report, released Monday, said the number of shark attacks in the state has been decreasing for four years.

In 2007, 31 people were attacked. In 2010, 13 people were attacked.

George Burgess, a regular Discovery Channel guest expert and UF ichthyologist, thinks the economy and the BP oil spill are largely responsible for the decrease in attacks because they’ve kept people from going to the beach.

“You can directly tie these activities to the number of people in the water,” he said.

According to the most recent study by Visit Florida, a tourism marketing company, statewide tourism increased just 0.6 percent from July to September, as compared to the same months in 2009.

Burgess said the data on the attacks was strange this year.

Globally, there were 79 shark attacks in 2010. That’s more than in previous years  — almost as many as the all-time high of 80 in 2000.

Despite this, Florida’s numbers continue to drop.

“This is an unusual year in Florida,” Burgess said.

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