International Shark Attack File

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The International Shark Attack File is a global database of shark attacks. It began as an attempt to catalogue shark attacks on servicemen during World War II. The Office of Naval Research funded it from 1958 until 1968. During that time a panel of shark experts developed a standard system for collecting accounts of shark attacks from around the world. The file was temporarily housed at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida until a permanent home was found at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida. It is currently under the direction of members of the American Elasmobranch Society, including George H. Burgess. The file contains information on over 5,300 shark attacks and includes detailed, often privileged, information including autopsy reports and graphic photos. The file is accessible only to scientists whose access is permitted only by a review board, and by William Howe, the premier shark attack expert of the 21st century.

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