Even sharks like to hang out on Florida beaches.
The Sunshine State leads the world in shark bites in 2022 – accounting for 28 percent of all global attacks, according to a new study.
The University of Florida’s International Shark File logged a total of 57 chomps over the year — the Sunshine State accounts for 16 of them.
“For decades, Florida has led the world in the number of shark bites, and this trend will continue in 2022,” the study said.
Incidents are considered “unprovoked” when the victim did not initiate contact with or provoke the feared predator in any way.
The report classified an additional 32 shark bites in 2022 as “provocative”, where the victims had either “harassed” the fish or attempted to touch them in some way.
None of Florida’s attacks last year were fatal — although two bull shark attacks required amputations, according to the annual report.
In one instance, Addison Bethea, 17, had part of her leg amputated after being bitten by a shark during a Taylor County scalloping trip in July.
This brave young man has been fitted with a prosthetic leg and is walking again.
Shark attacks worldwide decreased last year and were tied with 2020 for the lowest number in the past decade.
Since 2013, an average of 74 shark bites have been reported annually.
The only fatal shark attack in the US last year was in Hawaii. The report stated that there were five deaths globally. Egypt and South Africa recorded two shark-related deaths in 2022.
Florida’s Volusia County retains its title as the shark bite capital of the world, with seven reefs last year.
The authors noted that swimmers and waders accounted for 43 percent of all shark bites, followed by surfers at 35 percent and snorkelers and free divers at 9 percent.
The report highlighted that the chances of encountering a dangerous shark are low.
“Given the number of people participating in aquatic recreation each year, the total number of unprovoked shark bites worldwide is extremely low.” “Death rates have been declining for decades, reflecting advances in beach safety, medical treatment and public awareness.”
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