By Sahar Mourad For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 01:26 GMT, 12 January 2021 | Updated: 01:49 GMT, 12 January 2021
Swimmers in Western Australia are too scared of being mauled by a shark to go more than 10m from the shore.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Australia had its deadliest year for shark attacks in 2020 where eight people died - compared to no deaths in 2019.
WA has 31 deaths from shark attacks since records began last century, with 18 of them occurring in the past 20 years.
Women are more likely to not go further than 10m into the water to avoid sharks compared to 65 per cent of men (Pictured: beachgoers at Cottesloe Beach)
A poll of 1,071 West Australians by People's Voice Poll and Painted Dog Research found 74 per cent of swimmers staying in shallow waters.
Women were more concerned with 88 per cent refuse to go farther than 10m out to sea to avoid sharks, compared to 65 per cent of men.
Only 38 per cent of respondents said they stayed within 5m of the shoreline at all times.
However, shark expert Hugh Edwards warned staying close to shore was not any more safe than venturing out beyond the breakers.
A massive 5.3m great white shark was spotted just metres from Cottesloe Beach (pictured)Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
He explained it's difficult to know for who or where sharks aimed for when coming close to people.
'We actually really don't know who they're going to go for. We just can't predict it. There's not enough evidence,' he told The West Australian.
'All you can do is when you go swimming make sure you're close to others and remain close to smaller people than yourself because a shark would go for the smaller person.'