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U.S. led the world with shark attacks in 2015

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Experts say 2015 saw a record-setting 98 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide, including 30 in Florida alone.

The Florida Museum of Natural History released the numbers Monday. Scientists say the previous record was 88 attacks in 2000.

International Shark Attack File curator George Burgess says attacks are expected to continue to increase as human populations grow and shark populations recover.

Of the six fatalities last year, two happened off the Indian Ocean island of Reunion; the others occurred off Australia, Egypt, New Caledonia and the United States.

The U.S. led the world with 59 attacks, including those in Florida, eight in each of the Carolinas and seven in Hawaii. California and Texas each had two attacks, and New York and Mississippi each had one.

Australia and South Africa followed the U.S. with 18 and 8 attacks, respectively.

In late January, lifeguards closed a Hawaii bay to swimming after a shark bit a visitor from Minnesota.

The Kauai County Fire Department said officials didn't see the shark. But lifeguards saw the man had cuts on both his hands. The cuts weren't life-threatening.

The shark bit the man as he was paddling to shore near the Hanalei Pier on Kauai island. He was on his way back from surfing.

He was treated on the beach by lifeguards but chose to drive himself for medical treatment, the county said on its Facebook page.

Lifeguards posted "No Swimming" and "Shark Sighted" signs along the beach at Hanalei Bay. They are telling people to stay out of the water.

Lifeguards will reassess the water Friday morning to determine if it is safe for swimming.

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