Florida is the shark bite capital of the world, according to new report

Shark attacks remain an incredibly rare occurrence, the report stated, with most attacks happening in the month of September.

By Crystal Harlan

May 28, 2024

Volusia County, home to Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach, seems to be the hotspot for aggressive sharks.

There were more unprovoked shark bites in Florida in 2023 than anywhere else in the world, according to International Shark Attack File’s latest report.

The Sunshine State had a total of 16 bites last year, representing 44 percent of the nationwide total, and 23 percent worldwide. And that’s a good year for Florida, according to the report: “This is lower than Florida’s most recent five-year annual average of 19 incidents.”

Hawaii came in second place in 2023, with eight bites, including one fatality. New York came in third with four bites. California had two bites, one of which was fatal. North Carolina had three bites, South Carolina two, and New Jersey one.

Volusia County, home to Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach, seems to be the hotspot for aggressive sharks. Eight of the 16 bites in 2023 were in Volusia, two were in Brevard County, two in St. Lucie County, and one each occurred in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Escambia, and Pinellas counties, according to the report.

Since 1882, there have been a total of 351 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks in Volusia County, 159 in Brevard and 83 in Palm Beach.

Overall, the U.S was in the top spot, followed by Australia with 15 bites, four of which were fatal, according to the 2023 report.

The report stated that 42 percent of shark attack victims were either surfing or doing board sports at the time of the encounter; 39 percent were swimming or wading, 13 percent were snorkeling or free-diving, and six percent were listed as “other.”

Shark attacks remain an incredibly rare occurrence, the report stated, with most attacks happening in the month of September.

 

RELATED: Where to Hunt for Shark Teeth in Florida

Author

  • Crystal Harlan

    Crystal is a bilingual editor and writer with over 20 years of experience in digital and print media. She is currently based in Florida, but has lived in small towns in the Midwest, Caracas, New York City, and Madrid, where she earned her MA in Spanish literature.

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