Shark Attacks

Paperback - November 2017 - AU $39.95

eBook - November 2017 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

Explore the science, psychological impacts and public perceptions of shark attacks.

Humans spend more time in or on the water than ever before. We love the beach. But for many people, getting in the water provokes a moment’s hesitation. Shark attacks are big news events and although the risk of shark attack on humans is incredibly low, the fact remains that human lives are lost to sharks every year. + Full description

Shark Attacks explores the tension between risk to humans and the need to conserve sharks and protect the important ecological roles they play in our marine environments. Marine biologist Blake Chapman presents scientific information about shark biology, movement patterns and feeding behaviour. She discusses the role of fear in the way we think about sharks and the influence of the media on public perceptions. Moving first-hand accounts describe the deep and polarising psychological impacts of shark attacks from a range of perspectives.

This book is an education in thinking through these emotive events and will help readers to navigate the controversial issues around mitigating shark attacks while conserving the sharks themselves.

- Short description


View the media release for Shark Attacks (PDF)

"Marine Biologist, Blake Chapman approached what is arguably an extremely emotive topic, and produced a well balanced and highly educational book that tackles the issues of human/shark interaction with empathy... We suggest this is the one book all journalists should read before attempting to write a shark related media release!
This is a book that is hard to put down, and if you only read one shark related book this year, we highly recommend you make it this one."
White Shark Conservation Trust, January 2018

"Chapman, despite her background as a marine biologist, manages to approach this topic neutrally... its coverage of practical measures and policy responses, and moderate, non-sensational tone (and cover!) make this book recommended to anyone interested in this form of human-wildlife conflict."
Leon Vlieger, The Inquisitive Biologist (blog), 17/12/17

"While the chances of a shark attacking any of us are extremely slim, the fact is that every year a number of people are attacked by sharks and some of them die as a result. The author has tried to put that into proportion and to tone down the sensationalism of much of the general media."
Workboat World, December 2017, p. 36


Paperback | November 2017 | $ 39.95
ISBN: 9781486307357 | 280 pages | 234 x 153 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

ePDF | November 2017
ISBN: 9781486307364
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers

ePUB | November 2017
ISBN: 9781486307371
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Clarifies what is fact and what is fiction with regards to shark attack statistics
  • Explains why the fear of sharks and shark attacks is so prevalent in modern society
  • Discusses personal and regional mitigation devices and measures as well as the pros and cons of each of these
  • Provides suggestions on how we can better manage the risk (real and perceived) of shark attack into the future
  • Provides a range of personal accounts and public opinions on shark attack to round out our understanding of these occurrences and to provide support for gaps in current policy


Chapter 1: Introduction to sharks
Chapter 2: Shark biology and basics
Chapter 3: Shark attacks, deconstructed
Chapter 4: The role of the media in shark attacks: the good, the bad and the ugly
Chapter 5: The fear of the improbable: human psychology and shark attack
Chapter 6: How to lessen the risk of shark attack: personal mitigation strategies
Chapter 7: Shark bite first aid and trauma medicine
Chapter 8: Human-wildlife conflict and regional management
Chapter 9: Regional shark attack mitigation measures: what are they based on and do they work?
Chapter 10: Legislation relating to shark attack mitigation
Chapter 11: Looking towards the future

View the full table of contents.


Blake Chapman is an Adjunct Research Fellow at The University of Queensland, School of Biological Sciences. She grew up with a love for and fascination with the ocean, but her interest in sharks was piqued when an episode of Shark Week caught her attention. Blake completed postgraduate research on shark neuroscience, development and ecology and has worked in aquatic animal health and husbandry. She now focuses on science communication and her continuing goal is to help educate the public on sharks and shark attacks to better protect both sharks and the humans that choose to share their incredible environment.