Friday, 20 February 2009

Jaws is coming

Although the chances are incredibily slim you will ever be attacked by a shark, you can increase the possibility by heading to Volusia Country, Florida (US). The county is home to the sunny city of Daytona Beach and is the world’s number 1 city for shark attacks. 22 incidents were reported alone in 2008, according to ISAF, part of the University of Florida. To get rid of their notorious reputation and questionnable achievement the city adopted the slogan ‘You have a bigger chance to win the lotto than to be attacked by a shark, here with us!”. More than ten million people visit the Volusia County beaches every year.
The ISAF reported an overall global shark attack rate of 59 in 2008. Less than the previous year, when 71 people were attacked. The US Professor George Burgess thinks we should thank the credit crunch for less attacks: “There are less tourists and swimmers out there, because families have hardly any money for holidays. Less tourists mean less attacks.” According to the ISAF, four people died last year as a result of a shark attack: two in Mexico, one in Australia and one in the United States. Three of them were surfers. This is easy to explain: paddling surfers seen from below are often mistaken for a big turtle, which often serves as meal for two days for a shark.