Shark diving for tourists near Florida (picture from May 2022)
Photo: Joseph Prezioso / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images
Shark attacks always cause a stir internationally - just last Sunday a 16-year-old died in Australia after suffering severe injuries from a shark bite.
However, the number of unprovoked shark attacks worldwide has declined in the past year.
"Together with 2020 was the lowest number of reported incidents in the past decade," said the University of Florida at Gainesville.
As a result, there were a total of 57 such registered shark attacks in 2022 - since 2013 the number of documented attacks has averaged 74. Last year five people died from shark bites.
The year before there were nine, in 2020 even ten.
The researchers concluded that the numbers may reflect the decline in global shark populations.
Gavin Naylor, director of the campus-based Florida Museum of Natural History, has a different explanation for the significantly lower death toll: "It's likely that deaths have decreased because some areas have recently implemented strict safety protocols on beaches, particularly in Australia."
In their statistics, the research team concentrated on attacks by the cartilaginous fish, which apparently have no direct reason.
In 2022, however, there were also 32 other “provoked” shark bites – for example because people were fishing near the incident or because bait was swimming in the water.
All numbers come from the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) data collection maintained at the museum.
Compared to the fear of shark attacks among many people, the number of their victims is extremely small.
In comparison, according to the CDC, an estimated 236,000 people die from drowning every year.