Are 100 million sharks culled per year for safety reasons?

Example claim

Text below

A woman has a 1 in 262,365 chance of being killed by a shark in her lifetime.

In that very same lifetime she has a 1 in 6 chance of being raped.

100 million sharks are culled annually in the name of unjustified threat to humans.

When it comes to rape prosecution, only 16.3 percent of reported rapists are imprisoned.

We're worried about the wrong predators."


  1. National Geographic
  2. RAINN
  3. The Australian Marine Conservation Society
  4. RAINN

I'm suspicious the infographic is conflating the total number of sharks killed with those killed for human protection.

Related question: Are 100 million sharks killed by humans per year? , which asks about the numbers killed by fishing.

  • 3
    Seems to be comparing... well, not apples to oranges, but apples to hyperspheres. Although I can't find exact numbers, it should be obvious that most rapists don't kill their victims. Also, sharks seldom attack anyone on land, so the appropriate comparison would be to women who go in the ocean, not all women.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 17:11
  • 1
    @jamesqf I guess part of the infographic's line of thought is that shark attacks are a vastly over-hyped threat, and comparing it against an under-hyped threat.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 21:34
  • Certainly, though perhaps 'thought' is not the appropriate word here. It just begs to be described as "not even wrong" - and I don't even disagree about sharks being overfished. But fishing, whether it's for salmon, tuna, shark, or whatever, is not a cull, and they're not being caught because they're a threat to humans, but because they're commercially valuable - as you yourself point out in your answer.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 4:14
  • 1
    Note: the number about rape seems also to be quite unrealistic -> skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/8440/…
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


The Australian Marine Conservation Society's web site is http://www.marineconservation.org.au/ . Doing a search for shark cull million on their web site gets as the first hit Government on shark watch as cull shelved

Yet despite being essential to a healthy marine environment, the world's shark populations are experiencing significant decline, with perhaps 100 million or more sharks being lost every year. The increased demand for shark meat and shark fin makes them especially vulnerable to overfishing.

According to The Australian Marine Conservation Society, the international trade in shark fin is widely believed to be responsible for causing the decline in so many shark populations around the world. They say Australia is complicit in driving our global shark populations closer to extinction by our role in the international shark fin trade (a single shark fin fetches $1000 in Sydney's or Melbourne's Chinatowns).

While it's true that an article on culling mentioned the number 100 million, a closer reading indicates that it's saying that 100 million are all shark kills, not those being culled.

As a side note, the article is from Phys.org (Wikipedia article), with the society merely hosting a copy of the article.

Other pages on the society's web site give different estimates for how many sharks get killed. For example, this page, which seems to be original content, gives an estimate of 73 million per year.

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