10 Most Dangerous Places for Shark Attacks


New South Wales, Australia

surfer, New South Wales
Surfers are attracted to beaches in New South Wales, Australia — and so are sharks. Peter G Knott/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 238 attacks since 1700 [source: ISAF]. There have been 47 fatalities [source: Taronga].

Some recent attacks have helped this sunny locale rank so high on our list. In 2015, a surfer died after both his legs were bitten off in a shark attack. It was the third fatal attack in New South Wales in 12 months [source: Safi].

Still, New South Wales'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 [source: Mancuso]. As of 2017, 51 beaches were protected by these nets or by drumlines, baited hooks intended to attract the sharks. These have proved controversial as they have caught 98 mostly harmless sharks in the course of a year but also 279 other marine animals, including 166 rays and 10 turtles [source: Knaus]. For these reasons, the environmentalists favor building caged enclosures for swimmers instead.