Revealed! Which country had most shark attacks in 2013?

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If you've got a phobia of the sea (or, more specifically, being attacked by a shark) you might want to give Florida a miss.

The US state was home to the highest number of shark attacks in 2013, although, reassuringly, none of the 23 attacks were fatal.

The University of Florida released its International Shark Attack File on Monday revealing that there were 72 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide in 2013, with 10 fatalities, reports

The US led the way with 47 attacks, with six in South Carolina, and one in Alabama, California, North Carolina, Oregon and Texas. Hawaii had 13 attacks, and was the site for the nation's only fatal attack.

According to ABC Action News, Australia and Reunion each had two fatal shark attacks, while Brazil, Diego Garcia, Jamaica, New Zealand and South Africa saw one fatal shark attack each.

The 72 shark attacks across the world was the lowest number of attacks since 2009, although fatalities were above average in 2013.

Although Florida may have the highest number of attacks, two areas have emerged as the deadliest spots for sharks: Western Australia (six deaths in the past four years, as well as one in 2014), and Reunion Island (five deaths in three years).

George Burgess, curator of the file housed at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus, told the University Of Florida News that tourism and globalisation has led to once-remote areas becoming shark attack zones, like Reunion, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar and the Solomon Island. He said: "Globalisation of societies and the ease of modern travel means that we have access to places that have never been frequented by tourists before.

"Remote destinations are not typically medically equipped to handle a serious shark attack. This situation is a key factor in the higher death rate this year. When a shark attack happens in a remote place, the results are going to be more dire than if it happened on a Florida beach, for instance."

He added: "When sudden increases in shark attacks occur, usually human factors are involved that promote interactions between sharks and people.

"Shark populations are not in a growth phase by any means, so a rise in the number of sharks is not to blame. However, we can predict with some reliability that shark attacks will concurrently rise with the growth of human populations, a trend we saw throughout the past century."

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Revealed! Which country had most shark attacks in 2013?

New Smyrna Beach in Florida has the dubious honour of having more shark attacks annually than any other beach. The beach is part of Volusia County, which accounts for roughly 37% of Florida’s 663 attacks since 1882. 

It is estimated that anyone who has swam there has been within 10ft of a shark, according to National Geographic. However, there have never been any fatalities on New Smyrna.

However, that can't be said for the rest of Florida. Since 1988, there have been 6 fatalities.

The number of fatal, unprovoked shark attacks in South African waters between 1990-2009, is 22, according to the KwaZulu Natal Sharks Board. There have been 136 attacks in total.

In 2012, there were four shark attacks in South Africa, three of them fatal, according to the International Shark Attack File.

Picture: A woman enters the water as workers aboard a boat, right, place a shark exclusion net at Fish Hoek beach, on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, April 5, 2013.

There have been 207 unprovoked shark attacks in Australia over the last 20 years, and 124 of those occurred in the last 10 years, reports Australian Geographic.

According to The West Australian newspaper, Western Australia has become the deadliest place in the world for shark attacks, after the fourth death in seven months occurred in 2012.

Picture: Shark warning sign on Botany Bay beach. Sydney, Australia.

In the past 20 years Brazil has become an increasingly hazardous place to go swimming. 

While the north-east coast might have a stunning coastline and bath-temperature waters, the BBC report that off the shore of Recife are many aggressive sharks, which has made this one of the most dangerous places in the world to swim. 

Brazil's sharks appear to be some of the most dangerous in the world. The death rate of 37% (21 of the 56 attacks in 20 years) is much higher than the worldwide shark attack fatality rate, which is currently about 16%, according to the Florida State Museum of Natural History.

Picture: Placard warns about a shark hazard in Boa Viagem beach in Recife, northeastern Brazil on September 11, 2012.


After 14 unprovoked shark attacks were reported in Hawaii in 2013, according to, locals have become increasingly nervous about the risk posed by sharks

From 1828 to December 2013 there have been 128 total unprovoked shark attacks in Hawaii, 10 of which were fatal attacks, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Picture: Japanese tourists stroll along Waikiki Beach in Hawaii, following a shark siting in 2001, which closed the beach.

California has had 109 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks since 1926, according to the International Shark Attack File, and the state ranks second in the U.S. for shark attack frequency. 

There have been 10 fatal attacks, and the last was just two years ago in Santa Barbara in 2012.

Papua New Guinea has had nearly 50 shark attacks (half of them fatal) .

The Guardian report that the country has a disproportionately high number of shark attacks, considering its small population size, because of the country's location, with extensive seas coasts and warm climates.

Picture: Trobriand Island In Trobriand, Papua New Guinea

Since 1837, 71 shark attacks and two fatalities have occurred in South Carolina, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Of those, 16 attacks are recorded off the beaches of Horry County, where the town of Myrtle Beach is famous as a tourist destination, according to Yahoo. 

Luckily, there have been no fatal shark attacks in South Carolina since 1852. But in 2012, South Carolina had a worryingly high level of incidents, when five attacks were reported.

Picture: Myrtle Beach

Despite its size, New Zealand has a relatively high incidence of shark attacks, according to The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

Since 1852 there have been 44 recorded unprovoked attacks (compared with 39 in the whole of Europe since 1847). 

A third of New Zealand attacks occurred between Ōamaru and the Otago Peninsula, probably because sharks are attracted by the high numbers of seals, dolphins and pilot whales in that area.

Picture: A flower tribute at Muriwai Beach near Auckland, New Zealand, after a shark killed Adam Strange in 2013.

Mexico has had 42 shark attacks (22 fatalities) since 1880.

Picture: People walk along Troncones beach in Mexico's Pacific Coast village of Troncones in 2008, after sharks  attacked three surfers in the area in less than a month, two fatally. 


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