GAINESVILLE, Florida: Shark attacks soared worldwide in 2021.
Research conducted by the Florida Museum of Natural History and the American Elasmobranch Society, along with the International Shark Attack File, recorded 73 attacks in 2021, compared to 52 in 2020.
“Shark bites dropped drastically in 2020 due to the pandemic,” International Shark Attack File manager Tyler Bowling said in a statement.
“This past year was much more typical, with average bite numbers from an assortment of species and fatalities from white sharks, bull sharks and tiger sharks.”
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Researchers report 11 shark-related fatalities in 2021. Australia led the world with three deaths, followed by New Caledonia ion the Pacific with two. The United States, Brazil, New Zealand and South Africa each had a single fatal shark attack.
Florida had 28 shark biting incidents last year, compared to 19 in the rest of the U.S. and 26 outside the U.S.
The single fatal shark attack in the U.S. in 2021 was in California, when a man was killed on Christmas Eve while surf boarding in Morro Bay.