Florida Leads Nation in Number of Shark Attacks
Once again, Florida tops the list of most shark attacks than any other state with a recorded 28, making up more than half the nation’s total of 52.
The ranking was released on Tuesday when the University of Florida’s International Shark File announced its 2014 tally.
According to file curator, George Burgess, the majority of those attacks are considered hit-and-runs with victims only acquiring minor injuries. “They’re the equivalent of dog bites,” he says.
Worldwide, only three deaths this past year were blamed on sharks with the United States having no fatal attacks.
While the decade-long annual average of fatal shark attacks is down, the number of attacks around the world is trending up. Although it’s only a slight increase from 72 to 75, Burgess explains that the number will likely climb as humans continue to flock to beaches and into shark territory.
According to Burgess, Volusia County might be the reason as to why Florida continues to be the nation’s leader in shark attacks year after year.
Volusia County is home to a well-known surfing spot near New Smyrna Beach, which is just south of an inlet home to a fertile hunting ground for sharks. Surfers paddling to catch a wave create splashes to which sharks – mainly blacktips and spinners – bite at blindly.
“There’s no Jaws theme music in the background. It’s a hit-and-run accident,” Burgess said.
Both Miami-Dade and Monroe counties had no attacks in 2014, while Broward recorded two.