Below are points of evidence supporting the fact that sharks are a threat to undersea cables.
The first report of sharks attacking cables came from the Canary Islands in 1985, when sharks' teeth were found embedded in an experimental cable. I found the report in an old news paper.
According to a report by the United Nations Environment ...
Sharks are an extremely small threat to undersea cable in regards to others causes as shown in the graphic below (from a report cited in @georgechalhoub's answer).
Proportion of cable faults by cause, from a database of 2,162 records spanning 1959–2006
Abrasion 3.7% ;
Geological 2.6% ;
To detect blood the smell first has to reach the shark.
From The Naked Scientist:
Water molecules in general are carried to the shark by water currents.
If there are no water currents then it is molecular diffusion, the
random movement of molecules that disperses the odour away from the
In general the travel time of odour ...
In general no, but there are some species of sharks that require movement to circulate water over their gills. NOVA had this question addressed to Dr. Samuel "Sonny" Gruber who responded as follows:
NOVA: Do sharks have to keep swimming to breathe?
Gruber: Several species do, including hammerheads and mackerel sharks.
Typically, pelagic sharks that ...
Florida Museum of Natural History:
It was once believed that all sharks had to swim constantly in order
to breathe and could not sleep for more than a few minutes at a time.
Oxygen-rich water flows through the gills during movement allowing the
shark to breathe.
While some species of sharks do need to swim
constantly, this is ...
Is it exaggerated? Sure.
Does it happen? Yes.
It is recognized that most if not all species
of sharks possess a keen sense of smell which is
used in detecting dead and wounded prey or
other edible material during their well-known
scavenging operations. [...] This tracking ability is
well recognized by skin divers and fishermen
who have ...
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
This article is about goldfish, not sharks, but it's the same urban legend:
Goldfish Only Grow to the Size of Their Enclosure
There is an element
of truth to this, but it is not as innocent as it sounds and is
related more to water quality than tank size. When properly cared for,
goldfish will not stop growing. Most fishes are in fact what are ...
This probably-non-peer-reviewed document by a fisheries scientist gives a lower estimate circa 2000 but I can't parse out if his ~55M estimate includes targeted fishing or "only" by-catch:
Considering an average weight of 15 kg per individual, the total number of skates, rays and sharks killed by fisheries would be close to 90 million fish per year, but ...
Yes: the finning trade is estimated to be larger than the commercial shark-meat trade.
According to Global catches, exploitation rates, and rebuilding options for sharks; Worm et al.:
Clarke et al.  used trade auction records from Hong Kong to estimate that the total mass of sharks caught for the fin trade. Estimates ranged between 1.21 and 2.29 Mt (...