A shark attack is an attack on a human by a shark. Every year, around 80 unprovoked attacks are reported worldwide. Despite their relative rarity, many people fear shark attacks after occasional serial attacks, such as the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, and horror fiction and films such as the Jaws series. Out of more than 489 shark species, only three are responsible for a double-digit number of fatal, unprovoked attacks on humans: the great white, tiger, and bull. The oceanic whitetip has probably killed many more castaways, but these are not recorded in the statistics.
Most shark attacks along the east coast of the USA are by blacktipped or spinner sharks, no longer than 1.8 metre, which bite and then release, because the human is either too large or does not taste like a fish. Fatalities come when a larger species like a tiger shark strikes.