Shark Attack Statistic Over A Year

Articles Jun 24, 2019 06:23

130 incidents of shark attack was discover during the year of 2018 by The International Shark Attack File and it was terrible. This post will break down two common cases of shark attack.

“Unprovoked attacks” are defined as incidents where an attack on a live human occurs in the shark’s natural habitat with no human provocation of the shark.

“Provoked attacks” occur when a human initiates interaction with a shark in some way. These include instances when divers are bitten after harassing or trying to touch sharks, attacks on spearfishers, attacks on people attempting to feed sharks, bites occurring while unhooking or removing a shark from a fishing net, etc.

Of the remaining 30 cases, nine involved bites to motorized or non-motorized marine vessels (“boat attacks”), four involved shark-inflicted post-mortem bites (“scavenge”), five were cases in which the shark-human interaction could not be confirmed based on the available data, one case in which the attack involved an animal that may have been habituated to the presence of humans in the area, and one case involved a diver in a public aquarium. Ten cases were regarded as “doubtful” in which the incidents did not involve a shark, including one case attributed to an eel and one case attributed to a barracuda.

2018 at a glance: The worldwide total of unprovoked shark attacks was significantly lower than average.

Shark Attack Statistic Over A Year

The 2018 worldwide total of 66 confirmed, unprovoked cases was lower than the most recent five-year (2013-2017) average of 84 incidents annually. There were five fatal attacks this year, four of which were confirmed to be unprovoked. These numbers are in line with the annual global average of six fatalities per year.

Shark Attack Statistic Over A Year

The International Shark Attack File (ISAF) does not assign significance to short-term trends, as annual fluctuations in shark-human interactions are to be expected. Year-to-year variability in oceanographic, socio-economic and meteorological conditions significantly influences the local abundance of sharks and humans in the water and, therefore, the odds of encountering one another.

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The more humans in the sea, the more human-shark interactions.

The number of human-shark interactions is strongly correlated with time spent by humans in the sea. As the human population continues to expand and as interest in outdoor aquatic recreational activities increases, the incidence of shark attacks is expected to rise. Improved global communications between ISAF, scientific observers and beach safety organizations as well as increased coverage of sharks in the media has heightened public awareness of shark-related issues. This has led to an improved accounting of human-shark interactions.

The U.S. had the largest number of unprovoked attacks, with one fatal incident in 2018.

Locality Total Fatal USA 32 1 Australia 20 1 Bahama Islands 1 0 Brazil 3 1 Costa Rica 1 0 Egypt 3 1 Galapagos Islands 1 0 New Caledonia 1 0 New Zealand 1 0 Republic of South Africa 2 0 Thailand 1 0 Worldwide 66 4

Consistent with long-term trends, the United States experienced the most unprovoked shark attacks in 2018 with 32 confirmed cases. This is markedly lower than the 53 incidents that occurred in the U.S. in 2017. The 32 cases represent 48% of the worldwide total. This is a decline from 2017, which saw 60% of the worldwide unprovoked attacks in U.S. Only one shark attack in the United States resulted in a fatality.

Australia’s total of 20 unprovoked incidents was slightly higher than the recent five-year annual average of 14 incidents for the region. Nine attacks occurred in New South Wales, eight in Western Australia, two in Queensland and a single case in Victoria. One attack resulted in a fatality in Queensland. Australia averages two fatal incidents annually (see Australian 2018 Shark Attack Summary).

South Africa experienced two, non-fatal attacks in 2018, which is lower than its annual average of four total shark attacks and one fatality. However, four remaining unclassified attacks from South Africa are still under investigation. Elsewhere in the world, shark attacks occurred in Egypt [3] and Brazil [3], each with one fatal incident in 2018. Single incidents occurred in the Bahama Islands, Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Thailand.

Following normal trends, Florida had the most unprovoked attacks in the U.S., representing 24% of the worldwide total.

2018 U.S. Statistics   Florida 16 California 1 Georgia 1 Hawaii 3 Massachusetts 2 New York 2 North Carolina 3 South Carolina 3 Texas 1 Total Cases 32

For decades, Florida has topped the charts for worldwide shark attacks and the trend continued in 2018. Florida’s 16 cases represent 50% of the U.S. total. Elsewhere in the U.S., unprovoked shark attacks occurred in Hawaii [3], North Carolina [3], South Carolina [3], Massachusetts [2], and New York [2]. Single incidents occurred in California, Georgia, and Texas. Significantly, the United States had one fatal incident in 2018 that occurred in Massachusetts. This was the first fatality in the United States since 2015 and the first fatal incident in Massachusetts since 1936.

Shark Attack Statistic Over A Year

The 16 unprovoked shark attacks in Florida were significantly lower than the most recent five-year annual average of 30 incidents. Volusia County had the most shark attacks [4] representing 25% of the Florida total, but this number was significantly lower than the most recent five-year annual average of 10 incidents. The remaining incidents occurred in Brevard [3], Nassau [2] and St. Lucie [2] counties, with single incidents occurring in Duval, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas and St. Johns counties.

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Global Summary

Victim Activity at Time of Attack   Surfing/board sports 53% Swimming/wading 30% Snorkeling/free-diving 6% Body surfing/horseplay 3% Scuba 5%

Other Shallow water



Following recent trends, surfers and those participating in board sports accounted for most incidents (53% of the total cases). This group spends a large amount of time in the surf zone, an area commonly frequented by sharks, and may unintentionally attract sharks by splashing, paddling and “wiping out.” Swimmers and waders accounted for 30% of incidents, snorkelers/free divers 6%, scuba divers 5%, body-surfers [3%], and those participating in other shallow-water activities [3%].

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Important considerations

The worldwide total number of unprovoked shark attacks is remarkably low given the number of people participating in aquatic recreation each year. For decades, worldwide fatality rates have continued to decline reflecting advances in beach safety, medical treatment and public awareness. This underscores the importance of global efforts to improve ocean rescue, medical care and shark education.

The somber truth is that most of the world’s shark populations are in decline, or exist at greatly reduced levels, as a consequence of overfishing and habitat loss. On average, there are only six fatalities attributable to unprovoked attacks by sharks worldwide, each year. By contrast, fisheries kill about 100 million sharks and rays annually. There is a pressing need to conserve these animals and their associated habitats to ensure their sustainability in the long term.


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