THE waters off Western Australia, with five unprovoked shark attacks, were best avoided last year.
For the second year running, WA and Reunion Island, off Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, were identified as two of the world's "hot spots" for multiple shark attacks on humans.
Australia had 14 of the 80 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide in 2012, according to the report released this week by the University of Florida.
The results were an "average year" for Australia, despite including two of the seven fatalities around the world.
Attack file director George Burgess said a sudden surge in shark attacks was usually due to human factors such as changes in behaviour or population.