10 Most Dangerous Places for Shark Attacks

New South Wales, Australia
Bondi Beach in New South Wales.
Bondi Beach in New South Wales.
Walter Bibikow/The Image Bank/Getty Images


­Like its neighbor to the north, Queensland, New South Wales along Australia's eastern coast is home to some beautiful beaches, which in turn are home to quite a lot of sharks. New South Wales has seen 215 attacks and 60 fatalities since 1700, according to the International Shark Attack File.

Some recent attacks as of press time also helped this sunny locale rank so high on our list. In 2008, a 16-year-old surfer was mauled to death by a bull shark while bodyboarding, just a few months after an incident in which divers were held hostage at a shipwreck by a circling shark, and another instance where a woman was knocked off her surfski by a white pointer shark. Prior to the 16-year-old's fatal attack, it had been 15 years since a shark-related death occurred in New South Wales [source: Cratchley].

Still, Queensland's numbers have likely been kept low by protective measures taken at beaches near Sydney. In 1937, nets and mesh were installed in the waters, and the program was expanded in the early 1960s after a spate of fatal attacks [sources: AMBS, Mancuso]. As of 2006, 84 beaches were protected by these nets or by drumlines, baited hooks intended to attract the sharks [source: Todd]. These measures have caused a dramatic dip in the number of attacks and also in the number of sharks.

However, these nets are controversial among conservationists, as we mentioned in the Queensland entry. These conservationists argue that the nets trap and kill endangered species, while not always stopping sharks. For these reasons, the environmentalists favor building caged enclosures for swimmers.

Speaking of cages, our next location is famous for people using them to go swimming with sharks. Turn the page to find out about shark diving.

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