Shark attacks up more than 30%!!!!

Shark attacks are up by more than 30%, according to reports. Do you think it's because of a resumption of human activity that dipped during the pandemic, or because of the George Floyd protests?

Last year, there were 73 unprovoked incidents between sharks and humans, up from just 52 confirmed bites in 2020. It was the first year the number ticked up after three years of declines.

"Shark bites dropped drastically in 2020 due to the pandemic," ISAF manager Tyler Bowling said in a statement. "This past year was much more typical, with average bite numbers from an assortment of species and fatalities from white sharks, bull sharks and tiger sharks."

(Spoiler: they're just back up to normal)

I joke, but there's plenty of weaseling in the headlines today (e.g. NBC News: "Shark attacks rise after 3 years of decline") to help the story register as "attack of the sharks" rather than "pandemic statistical rebound". Shark news is trivial, but that's the same device that media often use to give the impression that crime is exploding, and that isn't trivial at all.