International expert calls 2015 "The Year Of The Shark"
AN INTERNATIONAL shark attack expert is calling 2015 "The Year Of The Shark", in part due to the Ballina Shire's record attack cluster.
According to George Burgess, the current curator of the International Shark Attack File, last year there was a record number of 98 attacks worldwide, which resulted in only six deaths.
On the beaches of Ballina Shire there have been nine attacks, one of them fatal, in the last 12 months.
That means approximately 9% of the world's shark attacks happened in Ballina.
Let's crunch the numbers further in a sloppy and unscientific way - 41,644 people live in Ballina Shire and 7.4 billion people live in the world.
Disregarding the itinerant nature of Ballina's population, we could conclude then you are 153846.154 times more likely to be attacked by a shark if you live in Ballina than the rest of the world.
Mr Burgess said: "The year 2015 was a banner year if you like shark attacks but not such a good one if you don't. But we need to make sure we understand that those 98 attacks resulted in only six deaths, which is precisely the average number of deaths we've had per year over the last decade.
"So while there were more lesser bites, the more serious ones of course resulting in fatalities were at the average that we've seen for the last decade."