Shark Attacks studied by National Georgraphic

Worldwide shark-attack numbers fell in 2005 for the fifth year in a row.

Last year 58 confirmed "unprovoked" shark attacks occurred in natural ocean habitat, according to a report from the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), an organization based at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

This is down from 78 in 2000 and 65 in 2004.

Incidents in which the animals are provoked—such as during shark-feeding operations, in aquariums, or when fishers try to remove sharks from a net—aren’t counted in ISAF’s annual survey.

Four people were killed in unprovoked attacks last year, down from seven in 2004 and a bit below the 2001-to-2005 five-year average of 4.4 per year.

Last year’s deaths included two in Australian waters, one in Florida, and one from the South Pacific island of Vanuatu.

Shark-attack fatality rates continue to drop decade by decade as improving medical treatments help boost the odds of survival in the rare event of an attack.

Read this full story at National Geographic News.