Scientists have revealed there was a “baffling” rise in fatal shark attacks in 2023 around the world.
Researchers at the University of Florida found deaths due to Apex predators doubled, with 10 deaths reported, five from the previous year.
The data showed that the United States had the most unprovoked attacks with 36 representing 52 percent of the global total, but only two were fatal.
The team determined that great white, tiger and bull sharks killed the most swimmers in 2023, but the increase in deaths is due to more people being in the ocean each year and a stronger emphasis on reporting bites and deaths. .
Global death toll from shark attacks will double in 2023, new survey finds
The United States reported the most shark attacks last year, and most occurred in Florida. Surfers are attacked more than swimmers and waders, accounting for 42 percent of the number of unprovoked shark attacks
An unprovoked attack is when a shark attacks a human without provocation, such as the individual unintentionally approaching the shark or swimming or surfing in an area where the shark is preying on fish.
About 16 people were bitten by sharks in Florida and two were killed in California and Hawaii, according to a report by the University of Florida International Shark Attack File (ISAF)
There was also one confirmed death in the Bahamas, Egypt, Mexico and New Caledonia, and additional attacks in Brazil, Bahamas and South Africa, in addition to five others.
“This is within the range of the normal number of bites, although the deaths are a little disconcerting this year,” said Gavin Naylor, director of the shark research program at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Attacks by bull, tiger and white sharks cause the most deaths, but biologists say it’s because they are larger than other sharks
While all three sharks — great white, tiger and bull — are known as slimy predators of the sea, researchers said their size is why their bites are deadly.
Typically, when a shark mistakenly identifies a human as its prey, it will swim away after a single bite, but because they are larger than other sharks, a single bite can be fatal.
Although the number of deaths increased in 2023, marine biologists said the increase in shark attacks is more likely due to population density, and as more people enter the water, the likelihood that someone will be attacked by a shark increase.
In Australia, four people were killed in unprovoked shark attacks, and ISAF noted that the country is known for having a larger population of white and bull sharks.
‘Beach safety in Australia is second to none. They’re fantastic,’ said Joe Miguez, a doctoral student in the Florida Program for Shark Research.
‘However, if you go to remote regions where beach safety is not in place, there is an increased risk of a fatal shark attack.
‘This is because when an attack happens and there is security on the beach, you can get a tourniquet sooner and save the person’s life.
‘So, the solution is not not to surf. It’s surfing in areas where there is a good beach safety program,’ she said.
Surfers made up the majority of shark attack victims, suffering 42 percent of stings worldwide, while swimmers and waders accounted for 39 percent of attacks.
Swimmers should take precautions to avoid being bitten, including swimming with a friend and staying close to shore
ISAF said there are certain measures swimmers and surfers can take to avoid being stung, including swimming with a buddy, staying close to shore, not swimming where people are fishing and avoiding excessive splashing.
Sharks may be attracted to excessive splashing, especially if it is in one location, and will want to investigate whether prey is in danger.
He also advises against swimming at dawn or dusk, when sharks are most active and feeding, and to avoid wearing shiny jewelry because the reflected light can resemble the shine of fish scales.
(Tagstotranslate) DailyMail (T) SciencetetC (T) Australia (T) Mexico (T) Brazil (T) California (T) South Africa (T) Egypt (T) Florida (T) Hawaii