US leads the world in unprovoked shark bites

A recent study determined that there was a slight increase in the number of fatalities related to shark bites. The study also concluded, however, that the risk of being bitten by a shark remains “extremely low.”

Researchers at the Florida Museum of Natural History and the American Elasmobranch Society determined that the risk of being bitten is still extremely low.

Researchers at the Florida Museum of Natural History and the American Elasmobranch Society determined that the risk of being bitten is still extremely low. (iStock)

The Florida Museum of Natural History and the American Elasmobranch Society published the study, which analyzed data related to shark bites from around the world in 2021.

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The study determined that there were 73 unprovoked shark bites and 39 provoked bites during the previous year. A provoked bite is defined as an incident where the human or humans initiate the encounter with the shark in some way, like when a diver tries to pet a shark.

The study also confirms that the U.S. still has the highest number of unprovoked shark bites, with 43 bites being recorded last year. Australia comes in second, with 12 bites being recorded during the same time period. Only one of the bites in the U.S. was fatal, however, while three of the bites in Australia were fatal.

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Most unprovoked shark bites across the world happened in U.S. waters.

Most unprovoked shark bites across the world happened in U.S. waters. (iStock)

Florida continues to see the most unprovoked bites out of any other state in the U.S. There were 28 unprovoked bites in Florida, while Hawaii came in second with six bites.

The study concludes that the risk of being bitten by a shark remains low, with the total number of unprovoked bites worldwide being low compared to the number of people in the water.

Florida had the highest number of unprovoked shark bites than any other state.

Florida had the highest number of unprovoked shark bites than any other state. (iStock)

While the fatality rates slightly increased last year, the researchers concluded that this means that a shift in the long-term trends has occurred and that the number of unprovoked bites are still in line with five-year trends.

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