Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
Great white sharks can be dangerous to humans partaking in aquatic activities in the ocean such as swimming, diving, surfing, kayaking and canoeing. Great white sharks tend to attack swiftly with a single bite and then retreat. If the bite is minimal, the individual may have a chance to seek safety. However, if the bite is critical, damaging large organs or appendages, death can result for the victim. A review of great white shark attacks off the western United States showed that about 7 percent of attacks were fatal, but data from other localities, such as South Africa, show fatality rates of more than 20 percent. Fatality rates as high as 60 percent have been recorded from attacks in the waters off Australia.
Many researchers maintain that attacks on humans stem from the shark’s curiosity. Other authorities contend that these attacks may be the result of the shark mistaking humans for its natural prey, such as phocidae and otariidae. It is also possible that great white sharks intend to attack humans where their normal prey may be scarce (Long, 2009). (Long, 2009)