February 8, 2011

2010 Shark Attack Numbers Drop in Florida, Up in North Carolina

On February 1, 2011, the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida released a revised 2010 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary.

In 2010, there was a total of 79 worldwide unprovoked shark attacks which was higher than the 63 unprovoked attacks in 2009 and represents the highest number since 2000 when 80 attacks were recorded. This increase does not necessarily mean there is an increase in the rate of shark attacks but it is most likely "reflective of the ever-increasing amount of time spent in the sea by humans, which increases the odds of interaction between the two affected parties."

In 2010, there were only two fatal shark attacks in the United States - one in Florida and one in California.

Continuing with recent trends, the United States had the most unprovoked shark attacks with a total of 36 attacks. Of this number, "Florida again had most of the unprovoked attacks in the United States. The total of 13 attacks (in FL) was the lowest total since a dozen incidents were documented in 2004 and fell well below the 2001-2010 average of 23.1. Additional U.S. attacks were recorded in North Carolina (5), California (4), South Carolina (4), and Hawaii (4), with single attacks occurring in Georgia, Maine, Washington, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia. Within Florida, Volusia County had the most incidents (6). This area normally has higher numbers of shark-human interactions as a result of very high aquatic recreational utilization of its attractive waters by both Florida residents and tourists, especially surfers. Other Florida areas having attacks in 2010 were St.Johns (3), Duval (2), Brevard (1), and Martin (1)."

In Southeastern NC, we had the following shark incidents: June attack at Topsail Island; July attack at Wrightsville Beach; August attack at Figure Eight Island.

Here are historical attack numbers for select States:
2000 (NC-5) (SC-2) (CA-3) (HI-2) (FL-37)
2001 (NC-3) (SC-5) (CA-1) (HI-3) (FL-34)
2002 (NC-3) (SC-2) (CA-4) (HI-6) (FL-29)
2003 (NC-1) (SC-2) (CA-1) (HI-5) (FL-29)
2004 (NC-2) (SC-1) (CA-6) (HI-3) (FL-12)
2005 (NC-2) (SC-5) (CA-3) (HI-4) (FL-17)
2006 (NC-1) (SC-4) (CA-1) (HI-3) (FL-20)
2007 (NC-2) (SC-5) (CA-3) (HI-7) (FL-31)
2008 (NC-3) (SC-2) (CA-2) (HI-1) (FL-28)
2009 (NC-1) (SC-0) (CA-4) (HI-3) (FL-18)
2010 (NC-5) (SC-4) (CA-4) (HI-4) (FL-13)
**For this eleven year period, there was only one fatal attack in NC in 2001. There were no fatal attacks in SC.

To read the ISAF 2010 release, go here.

Shark Cartoon credit
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