Below the surface: reports of rising shark attacks don’t tell the whole story

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Fatal shark encounters in Australia are higher than ever. But does that mean the seas are no longer safe?

Call it pessimism or a remarkable sixth sense, but Chantelle Doyle always had a feeling that a shark was going to bite her one day – and she was proved right.

One morning in August 2020, while surfing off Port Macquarie in New South Wales, Australia, the 35-year-old was paddling out when a 2.5m juvenile great white shark launched itself at her. It knocked her off her board and clamped on to her leg, readjusting its grip three times.

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