This US state was the shark-attack capital of the world in 2023

But, this is no reason to panic, researchers say, for "the total number of unprovoked shark bites worldwide remains extremely low."

This US state was the shark-attack capital of the world in 2023

Florida is known for many things: beautiful beaches, sunny days and lots of traffic. And it also continues to reign as the shark-attack capital of the world.

According to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File, the state recorded the most unprovoked shark bites in the U.S. in 2023, with 16 confirmed cases. That represents 44% of the country’s total unprovoked shark bites.

"Florida has long topped global charts for the number of shark bites, and 2023 was no different," the ISAF said.

The study defines unprovoked bites as incidents in which a bite on a live human occurs in the shark’s natural habitat with no human provocation of the shark.

However, the report also states that 2023's figure was actually ”lower than Florida’s most recent five-year annual average of 19 incidents.”

The data is no reason to panic, researchers say, for "the total number of unprovoked shark bites worldwide remains extremely low."

Where in Florida were the bites recorded?

Half of the cases of unprovoked shark bites happened in Volusia County. Brevard and St. Lucie counties recorded two each. Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Escambia and Pinellas counties each reported one unprovoked shark bite each.

Hawaii followed Florida with eight unprovoked shark bites in 2023, one of which was fatal. Two of these bites were recorded in New York, two in California and three in North Carolina. South Carolina and New Jersey were also on the list, reporting two bites and one bite, respectively.

Forty-two percent of the cases were recorded among surfers and those practicing board sports. Swimmers and waders made up 39% of the cases. Thirteen percent of the incidents were reported among snorkelers and free divers, the ISAF states.

Worldwide, the U.S. once again took the No. 1 spot for the most unprovoked shark bites in 2023 with 36 confirmed cases, a drop from the 41 unprovoked bites reported in 2022.

Two of the 2023 cases were fatal.

Australia is second on the list with 15 cases of unprovoked shark bites. Four of these were fatal.

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