How risky is it to swim?
We naturally overestimate the risk of rare events, like shark attacks or terrorism. But there are things you can do to think more rationally about the real risk.
You’re far more likely to drown in the water than get killed by a shark, so why are we more afraid of the latter?
A Stanford professor developed a handy way of estimating and comparing our risk of death from various events – the micromort.
Helicopters hover over Bondi Beach after spotting a shark.
AAP Image/NEWZULU/TOM CASKA
LIfeguards could potentially have a new ally in the fight to reduce shark incidents: drones that can spot when a shark swims nearby, and automatically alert authorities.
Shelly Beach near Ballina, one of the new shark net locations, was the scene of a fatal shark attack in February 2015.
Shark nets are controversial, which is why the New South Wales government is investigating a host of other ways to keep humans and sharks apart – some more tried and tested than others.
White sharks are one of the species targeted in shark programs, but are also threatened.
White shark image from www.shutterstock.com
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has offered to extend the state's shark netting and drum lines into New South Wales.
An electric field could help avoid getting any closer than this.
Independent tests show that a wearable electric deterrent called a Shark Shield does indeed seem to live up to its name.
Loving our monsters? We’ll learn more by researching sharks than by kiling them.
The best way to guard against shark attacks is to study them, not kill them. Because while the alleged "shark boom" almost certainly not real, the more we know about sharks, the better.
Choosing to swim or surf at a beach with shark spotters or lifeguards may save you a limb or your life.
Glencairn Leigh de Necker
Despite low shark attack numbers, many people are afraid of being bitten. There are, however, ways to steer clear of these creatures.
Scientists are starting to think that young white sharks could be responsible for clusters of shark encounters.
White shark image from www.shutterstock.com
A recent increase in shark encounters has prompted New South Wales to investigate new technologies.
Sharks often bite people less to kill and more as a mistake.
A recent cluster of dangerous encounters with sharks in New South Wales has raised new concerns among the public.
White sharks - a threatened species responsible for a number of recent shark encounters.
More research may not necessarily prove to be the answer to shark attacks. Instead, we should look at programs that are already working, such as aerial patrols.
Australian surfer Mick Fanning, seen here surfing at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast, has decided to change the colour of his surfboard. No more yellow.
AAP Image/Jesse Little
The recent shark attack was enough to convince Australian surfer Mick Fanning that the colour of his surfboard may have been a factor. But what do sharks actually see in the water?
There are certain times and locations where people are more likely to encounter a shark.
What lies behind shark safety methods.
Where there are groups of seals, there are sharks.
Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environment
A rash of white shark attacks this summer points to a rebounding population in the US – a sign of healthier oceans and the need to coexist with this apex predator.
The moment a shark encounters Australian champion surfer Mick Fanning.
AAP Image/World Surf League, Kirstin Scholtz
Although frightening, the footage of Mick Fanning at Jeffreys Bay is a reminder that sharks are present in the oceans, and that the vast majority of interactions between people and sharks end without fatality or injury.
Sensationalized shark attacks skew the facts.
'Shark' via www.shutterstock.com
Millions tune in to Shark Week each year, but many walk away with the wrong impressions.
The stats for 2014 have been compiled and shark attacks and fatalities are down worldwide. The numbers are truly tiny. Why do we fixate on this vanishingly rare possibility?
First, don’t do this.
Sea Shepherd Australia/EPA
The plan to use baited traps to catch and kill sharks off the coast of Western Australia caused considerable controversy when it was announced last year, with critics calling the shark cull ineffective…
A 2.6 m tiger shark entangled in a WA drum line. It was officially released alive - whether it survived is another matter.
As Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority and the federal environment minister Greg Hunt mull the question of whether to let the state government resume its controversial shark cull next…
Wave of protest: surfers were among thousands who rallied at Cottesloe Beach against the Barnett government’s shark cull.
AAP Image/Theron Kirkman
The end of April marks the end of Western Australia’s shark cull – for now at least. Since January 25, dozens of sharks (the WA government has not yet released official figures) have been killed off popular…