2022 saw the lowest number of unprovoked shark attacks on humans in a decade, excluding 2020. This is reported by the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Since 2013, there have been an average of 74 unprovoked shark bites per year. 2020 was an exception as the COVID-19 epidemic prevented people from visiting beaches and traveling to resorts. In 2022, there were 57 bites, most of them in the US and Australia . Of these, five have been fatal, compared with nine deaths in 2021 and 2013.
Most of the attacks, as in previous years, took place in Florida. None of the 16 cases in Florida were fatal, but two—probably from blunt-nosed sharks ( Carcharhinus leucas )—needed amputation. Also, one diver was bitten by a lemon shark ( Negaprion brevirostris ), which rarely attacks humans. The incident was only the 11th known unprovoked attack by this species. There has only been one unprovoked assault death in the entire US.
Nine confirmed unprovoked bites have been reported in Australia, and single bites have been observed in New Zealand , Thailand and Brazil . The two fatal attacks happened on the same day in the Egyptian Red Sea, where shark encounters are considered rare. South Africa , which averages several bites per year, saw two unprovoked attacks in 2022, both of which were fatal and were likely caused by great white sharks.
The overall reduction in bites in 2022 may reflect a global decline in the shark population.
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