Common Human Encounters
Common Human EncountersExperts caution sea-goers to beware of sharks 6 feet or longer due to the damage they can cause to humans in a single bite. Among the species that grow to this size and have been known to attack humans are bull sharks, tiger sharks and great white sharks. However, these are not the predominant shark species that a person is likely to come across in the surf zone at the beach in the United States. In fact, about 90 percent of human-shark encounters are with smaller species of sharks not normally implicated in fatal attacks. One challenge in identifying sharks that attack humans is that people dont always get a good look at the shark in the water. Even if they do, they usually do not know what kind of shark it was. Often, experts use the bite pattern to determine the responsible species and are sometimes able to extract teeth samples from the bite area, which helps identify the species.
Source: Burgess, International Shark Attack
File and NOAA Fisheries