Thank goodness there wasn’t a single shark attack fatality in the US last year, but they’re still out there, resulting in 12 deaths worldwide. The statistic is the most since 1993, according to the University of Florida’s 2011 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary, which was released last week.
2011 saw a total of 75 unprovoked attacks, which was 7% lower than the 81 unprovoked attacks recorded in 2010. However, the number of worldwide unprovoked shark attacks has grown at a steady pace since 1900 with each decade having more attacks than the previous. Not surprisingly, surfers and others participating in board sports (60% of cases) were most often involved in these incidents in 2011.
North American waters had the most (35%: 26 attacks) unprovoked bites in 2011, and a total of 29 attacks in the United States (including 3 in Hawaii). Florida had the majority of the unprovoked attacks (11). The other states were Alabama (2), North Carolina (4), California (3), Texas (2), South Carolina (2), Hawaii (3), and Oregon (2).
Outside the US, attacks occurred in Australia (11), South Africa (5), Reunion (4), Indonesia (3), Mexico (3), Russia (3), the Seychelles (2), Brazil (2), and open sea (2), with single incidents reported from Antigua, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kenya, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Puerto Rico, Tahiti, and the Turks & Caicos.
In case you’re interested in monitoring all the shark attacks worldwide, we discovered this blog: http://sharkattackmonitor.wordpress.com/. It’s a rundown of all the reported shark attacks, with the most recent incident last month in Taiwan. But forewarned, the images can be a little NSFL.
Be safe out in the waters!