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20:15 12/02/13

Pantagruella Dienes said: Western Australia is a world hot spot for shark attacks with an above average number of fatalities recorded for the second consecutive year.

The University of Florida's annual International Shark Attack File report, released yesterday, revealed a total of 79 "unprovoked" shark attacks around the world in 2012.

Seven fatalities resulted from the unprovoked attacks in 2012, above the 2001-2010 yearly average of 4.4 fatalities.

An above average death toll was also recorded in 2011, when 13 people died after unprovoked attacks.

File director George Burgess said Australia had an "average year" with 14 attacks - but two fatal attacks in Western Australia had followed three fatal attacks in that state in 2011.

Mr Burgess said this was the second consecutive year for multiple shark attacks in both WA and Reunion island in the Indian Ocean.