The evidence is sketchy that they are. Fewer attacks world wide in 2010 than in 2000; a 4-year decline in Florida. If they are or do increase, it is probably because there are more people, and more people who play in the water.
As a PADI certified diver, I can say that far more people use the ocean for recreation than ever before, and scuba diving and snorkelling has become much more accessible for tourists. And with more people in the ocean, comes more careless people in the ocean, cutting themselves on coral and seeping their delicious blood into the water, or harboring the notion that wearing neoprene scuba-gloves means they can touch whatever they want, and attacks can be provoked this way.
Also, there is an image of the shark attack that has become almost a cultural shorthand due to movies about sharks and increased media coverage of attacks.
The link below has statistics on unprovoked shark attacks on divers, and the fatality rate. The main way a shark can determine if something is edible is to try eating it, which is why most attacks result in one, non-fatal bite. Humans actually taste quite bad to other animals, and s shark decides to move in for an unprovoked attack usually because it mistakes the human for another creature.
People shark’s swimming areas keep overlapping. Part of the problem COULD be people keep dumping substances in rivers and oceans.
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