Record number of shark attacks took place in 2015

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Sharks attacked people 98 times in 2015, a spike in unprovoked attacks that set a new record, according to the latest annual global tally.

While last year saw twice as many fatal attacks as 2014, the number of deadly encounters was roughly on par with the past decade's average, said George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File. 

Maintained at the University of Florida, the database was established in 1958.

The 98 unprovoked attacks surpassed the previous high of 88, recorded in 2000, he said.

The rise reflects growing populations of both people and sharks, he said.

'We're going to be seeing more bites north of Virginia in the east and California in the west in the years ahead as long as this warming trend continues,' Burgess said.

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