The new 2021 🦈 International Shark Attack File report was just released by @UFsharkresearch. Bites are up this year after three years of steady decline. Full story: https://t.co/88olsnyjut— Florida Museum (@FloridaMuseum) January 24, 2022
Summary report: https://t.co/K18ueWkuCO pic.twitter.com/qvdKjmsPRn
Volusia, Florida has regained its ominous title of being the shark bite capital of the world, accounting for 63 percent of all Florida attacks.
In 2021, Florida reported 28 shark attacks and 17 of them occurred in Volusia County – a sharp jump from Volusia’s five-year average of 9 shark attacks per year.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the United States led the world in 2021 shark attacks, with Florida making up 60 percent of all attacks in the country. Hawaii came in second place, but far behind the sunshine state. Since 1837, Florida has reported 896 shark attacks, compared to Hawaii’s 182.
The International Shark Attack File (ISAF) found that most shark attacks were related to surfers and other board sports, especially in murky water when sharks may mistake surfers and bodyboarders for sea turtles.
The Orlando Sentinel reports bull sharks and blacktips appear to be responsible for most Florida shark attacks as both prefer to swim in shallow water.
“There’s a lot of them out there,” Tyler Bowling, a manager at ISAF, told the Orlando Sentinel. “In fact, if you’re walking the beach at sunrise there’s a pretty good chance you’ll see one riding the waves.”
“We don’t have a whole lot of fatalities from sharks in Florida,” Bowling added. “And you’ll never get a fatality from a blacktip.”
According to the International Shark Attack File, there were 73 worldwide shark attacks in 2021:
1. USA – 47 attacks/1 fatal
2. Australia – 12 attacks/3 fatal
3. Brazil – 3 attacks/1 fatal
4. Canada – 1 attack/0 fatal
5. Ecuador – 1 attack/0 fatal
6. New Caledonia – 2 attacks/2 fatal
7. New Zealand – 3 attacks/1 fatal
8. South Africa – 3 attacks/1 fatal
9. St. Kitts and Nevis – 1 attack/0 fatal
However, the ISAF emphasized the chances of being attacked by a shark remain low, telling the Orlando Sentinel, “the total number of unprovoked shark bites worldwide is extremely low, given the number of people participating in aquatic recreation each year.”