US SHARK ATTACKS SINCE THE YEAR 2000:
8 people have been attacked and bitten by sharks in North Carolina since June. More shark attacks have been reported in other states since June as well. It certainly seems that shark attacks are on the rise in the USA. But are they actually, or is it just media hype?
There have been an unusual amount of shark attacks in 2015 so far, but it’s not an above average yet and it doesn’t compare to the early 2000’s and 2012.
SHARK ATTACKS BY AREA:
Why does the East Coast have more shark attacks than the West Coast? Researchers believe this East VS West disparency in shark attacks is due to shark species behavior. The West Coast has more pelagic (open water) sharks – like the Great White Shark – that generally stay out to sea in deeper water. The East Coast has more shore loving sharks – like the Bull Shark, Tiger Shark, Black Tip Shark – who spend time close to shore feeding in shallower water.
Locations that have popular, warm water beaches with many swimmers experience more shark attacks. It’s an odds game. More people in the water gives you a higher chance of getting bitten by sharks. Thus, it’s not surprising that Florida and Hawaii have the counties with the most shark attacks.
Southern coasts in the USA have warmer waters and thus, more swimmers and more shark attacks. As you travel north, there are less swimmers and less shark attacks.
Volusia County in Florida has had the most shark attacks in the past 15 years with 176 attacks since 2000. None of these shark attacks were fatal.
NUMBER OF FATALITIES IN THE USA FROM 2000-2015:
According to a report from Stanford University, CA, the chances of getting bitten by a Great White Shark in California has dropped 91% since 1950, even though the overall number of Great White Shark attacks has gone up. The reason it’s dropped so much is that there are many more swimmers than there were back in the 50s.
Scuba divers are 6,897 times more likely to be hospitalized for diving-related decompression sickness than for white shark bites.
Ocean-goers are 1,817 times more likely to drown than die from a shark attack.
Scuba divers have a 1-in-136 million chance of being bitten.
Surfers have a 1-in-17 million chance of being bitten. – Stanfurd
2015 isn’t yet a special year for shark attacks. As of July 1st in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2012 we had more shark attack in the USA than we have had in 2015 as of July 1st.
Remember, you’re more likely to get killed by lightning than you are by a shark.