Media Release

Stay shark safe this summer

  • There have been 295 unprovoked shark attacks and 42 fatalities in Australia since 1990
  • The top 13 shark attack locations in Australia revealed
  • shares tips for staying shark safe this summer

26 October, 2016, Sydney, Australia With the shark net debate heating up, new research by Australia’s most visited comparison site1, has found the locations in Australia where people are most likely to come in contact with a shark. analysed new data from the Shark Research Institute’s Global Shark Attack File which found Australia has recorded 42 unprovoked fatal attacks (out of a total of 295 unprovoked attacks, a fatality rate of 14%) since 1990.

finder's research found that while New South Wales has the highest number of recorded shark attacks of any Australian state with 122 recorded attacks, Western Australia has the highest number of fatalities – 40% of the nation’s total.

The top 13 Australian locations for unprovoked shark attacks since 1990:

1Byron BayNSW122
3Sydney HarbourNSW50
5Cottesloe BeachWA42
6Bondi BeachNSW30
7Seal RocksNSW30
8Bells BeachVIC30
9Fingal BayNSW30
10Shelly Beach (Central Coast)NSW31
11Lennox HeadNSW30
12Mona ValeNSW30
13Middleton BeachSA30

Shark attack prevalence by state since 1990:

New South Wales1226
Western Australia5917
South Australia3110
Northern Territory20

finder's Money and Travel Expert Bessie Hassan says that the start of summer is the perfect time to shine a light on these alarming statistics and urges Australians to keep these insights in mind when hitting the beach.

“As we head into the warmer months, beach safety is at top of mind so swimmers and surfers should take extra caution at beaches where sharks regularly frequent.”

Here are some top tips for staying shark safe this Summer:

  • Dawn and dusk are known periods when sharks are most active, so avoid swimming or surfing during these times.
  • Swim and surf at patrolled beaches or with other people so if you do get into trouble help is nearby.
  • Avoid swimming after large periods of rain, in polluted waterways, and at river mouths or estuaries.
  • Watch out for large schools of fish, particularly baitfish, which sharks like to feed on.
  • Listen out for shark alarms at beaches, if it does sound then leave the water quickly and calmly.
  • If you spot a shark at the beach, let surf life savers know as soon as possible, if there is an incident call 000 straight away.
  • For visitors to Australia, travel insurance will cover emergency medical expenses such as a shark attack, while domestic travel insurance for Australian residents will only cover accidental death or some inconveniences to your trip plans – not medical expenses.

“Although these findings are shocking, it’s important that we keep perspective – The odds of getting killed by a shark are 1 in 3,748,0672. You are far more likely to die as a result of a public transport accident (1 in 16,831)3 or by a lightning strike (1 in 71,601)4 than you are to be killed by a shark,” said Ms Hassan.

1. Experian Hitwise since 2015





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The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

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