According to researchers at the University of Florida, the number of attacks in the area last year was below average – though culling efforts are being increased.

Last year there were 10 attacks in Australian waters, the lowest amount since 2008, when there were nine.

Nevertheless, ‘revenge killings’ are being increased.

The report by researchers does point out, however, that although there have been fewer attacks than usual, the two fatalities in 2013 matched the yearly average.

George Burgess, who is involved with the International Shark Attack File, criticised the culling policy and has said that killing sharks will not result in fewer attacks.

The current culling policy holds that if a bull, tiger or great white shark that is longer than three metres is caught within one kilometre of parts of the Western Australian coast, it must be shot dead.

The West Australian fisheries minister, Ken Baston, maintains that the policy is working well.

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