Have you ever wondered about the number of unprovoked shark attacks worldwide? How many occur annually and what areas are affected the most? The University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File has recently released its annual report for 2022, and the findings are both intriguing and reassuring. Read on to learn more about the latest shark attack statistics and how you can reduce your risk of a bite.
According to the report, there were a total of 57 unprovoked bites in 2022, most of which occurred in the United States and Australia. Of these, five attacks were fatal, down from nine deaths in 2021 and 10 the year prior. Since 2013, the average number of unprovoked bites per year has been 74. The overall reduction in the number of last year’s bites may reflect the documented global decline of shark populations.
The U.S. had the highest number of bites, and Florida again had more reported bites than anywhere else on Earth. None of Florida’s 16 unprovoked bites were fatal, but two required medical treatment resulting in amputations. Australia had nine confirmed unprovoked bites, and single bites occurred in New Zealand, Thailand and Brazil. Two fatal attacks occurred on the same day in Egypt’s Red Sea, where shark encounters are considered rare. South Africa, which averages a few bites a year, had two unprovoked attacks in 2022, both of which were fatal and likely caused by white sharks.
In addition to the global numbers, the report also highlighted a spike in localized incidents. New York had a record eight bites in 2022, six of which have been confirmed. Before these attacks, the state had only 12 reported unprovoked bites. Researchers determined that juvenile sand tiger sharks had taken up residence in Great South Bay, between Long Island and Fire Island, which likely contributed to the rise in attacks.
The International Shark Attack File also provides a curated list of recommendations for further reducing your risk of a bite, such as removing reflective jewelry before entering the water and avoiding areas where people are fishing. For more resources, including the full 2022 report, you can visit the International Shark Attack File’s website.
So, if you’re interested in learning more about the latest shark attack statistics and safety tips, make sure to check out the International Shark Attack File’s annual report for 2022. Knowing the facts can help you stay informed and safe when swimming in the ocean.