Map shows the areas with the most encounters in 2022

World’s shark attack hotspots REVEALED: Map shows the areas with the most encounters in 2022 as the number of fatalities dips to 10-year low

  • There were 57 unprovoked shark bites worldwide in 2022, and five of them fatal
  • This is the lowest number in ten years, thought to be the result of shark declines
  • Most of these were in the USA and Australia, with 16 in the state of Florida alone 
  • Warning: Graphic content 

The shark bite capital of the world is Florida, new research has shown, after 16 unprovoked attacks were reported there last year.

However, the data reveals that the number of such incidents worldwide decreased from 2021 to reach a ten-year low.

There were 57 unprovoked bites in 2022 – with only five of them fatal – while there were 73 in 2021, with nine deaths.

The majority were recorded in the US and Australia, however single bites also occurred in New Zealand, Thailand and Brazil, the University of Florida research showed.

The average number of unprovoked bites each year since 2013 is 74, and this reduction is thought to indicate declining shark populations.

The majority of unprovoked shark attacks were recorded in the USA and Australia last year, however single bites also occurred in New Zealand, Thailand and Brazil

While unprovoked shark attacks are extremely rare in British waters, they’re much more common in other parts of the world. Pictured: A great white shark

A study published last month revealed that nearly two-thirds of coral reef shark and ray species are at risk of extinction, with overfishing named as the biggest threat.


Florida, US – 16 

Australia – 9

New York, US – 8 

South Africa – 2

Egypt – 2 

Brazil – 1

New Zealand – 1

Thailand – 1 

Dr Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Florida Program for Shark Research, said: ‘Generally speaking, the number of sharks in the world’s oceans has decreased, which may have contributed to recent lulls.

‘It’s likely that fatalities are down because some areas have recently implemented rigorous beach safety protocols, especially in Australia.’

Data used to build the International Shark Attack File does not take into account attacks that may have been motivated by human action, either intentionally or unintentionally.

This could include casting a fishing line directly in the shark’s vicinity, or dumping ‘chum’ – meat-based bait – into the water. 

Indeed, there were another 32 bites reported which fit the criteria for being provoked.

Dr Naylor added: ‘Unprovoked bites give us significantly more insight into the biology and behaviour of sharks. 

‘Changing the environment such that sharks are drawn to the area in search of their natural food source might prompt them to bite humans when they otherwise wouldn’t.’

According to the researchers, there is a one in 4,332,817 chance of an individual dying as a result of a shark attack in their lifetime.

While unprovoked shark attacks are extremely rare worldwide – especially in the UK – they tend to be more common in certain locations.

This year was tied with 2022 in recording 52 unprovoked bites worldwide – the ten year low. Pictured: Number of unprovoked shark bites worldwide from 2013 to 2022

Sharks found in British waters 

Smooth hammerhead shark – North Atlantic off the western tip of Cornwall

Blue shark – 10 miles off the southern coast of Cornwall 

Thresher shark – English Channel off the Devon coast 

Shortfin mako shark – Bristol Channel and off the coast of Wales

Porbeagle shark – Most common on south coast

Basking shark – Sea of the Hebrides 

Last August, the Florida Museum produced an interactive map that lets you explore the number of unprovoked shark attacks around the world.  

It revealed that the USA is the shark attack hotspot of the world, with 1,563 unprovoked attacks since 1580, followed by Australia (682 attacks), Republic of South Africa (258 attacks) and Brazil (110 attacks).

This year was tied with 2020 in recording 52 unprovoked bites worldwide – a ten year low.

It is thought that travel restrictions and beach closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that humans and sharks were interacting less, which brought down the number.

The US reported the most unprovoked shark attacks out of any country in the world in 2022.

The vast majority were in Florida and, although none of them were fatal in the state, two of them did result in amputations.

These are thought to have been the result of bites from bull sharks.

A woman in the Dry Tortugas National Park in the state was attacked by a six-foot lemon shark, prompting her to punch it repeatedly in the face.

While snorkelling, Heather West, 42, approached a patch of sea grass which seemed to be floating in a strange manner.

She turned on her front and looked behind her to see a shark with its jaws clamped round her foot, which was completely mangled.

This was only the eleventh known unprovoked attack from a lemon shark. 

Ms West said: ‘It’s unusual for sharks to take one bite and then persistently try again even after feeling resistance.

‘The same shark is said to have been sighted a few days earlier when it came right out on to the shore to try and hunt a pelican which is really unusual behaviour.

‘I can only think the poor thing must have been starving, because it was trying to drown me and drag me out to sea.

‘Despite all of this, I want the record to show that I love sharks, and don’t want to discourage people from getting in the water.’

A woman in the Dry Tortugas in Florida  was attacked by a six-foot lemon shark which bit her foot, prompting her to punch it repeatedly in the face. Pictured: Her foot after the injury

Countries with the most unprovoked shark attacks since 1580 

There was only one shark-related death in the US in 2022, reported after a snorkeler went missing and only parts of her bathing suit and snorkelling gear washed up.

Beach-goers at Keawakapu Beach in Maui, Hawaii recounted seeing a large shark apparently feeding on something in a pool of red water.

Despite the overall decrease of unprovoked attacks, the state of New York recorded a record number of eight in 2022.

In the last seven years, juvenile sand sharks have been drawn to the Great South Bay, between Long Island and Fire Island, as they are better protected from predators.

Dr Naylor believes the attacks were the result of an influx of fish being brought close to the shore by swirling currents from the Gulf Stream called ‘eddies’.

These lure the sharks into the surf, and increase the number of human encounters and non-lethal bites.

Dr Naylor added: ‘Juveniles tend to be more experimental and will try things that an adult shark wouldn’t. 

‘If fish are especially dense where people are swimming and visibility is poor, then it is more likely that young sharks, which lack the experience of older animals, will mistake a swimmer’s foot for their intended prey.’

The Florida Museum produced an interactive map that lets you explore the number of unprovoked shark attacks around the world since 1900

The map reveals that the USA is the shark attack hotspot of the world, with 1,563 unprovoked attacks since 1580, followed by Australia (682 attacks), Republic of South Africa (258 attacks) and Brazil (110 attacks)


Egypt – 2

South Africa -2

USA – 1 

Elsewhere, Australia clocked nine unprovoked shark bites, and in South Africa there were two fatal ones, thought to have been caused by Great White sharks.

Two fatal attacks also occurred on January 8 2022 in the Red Sea, off the coast of Egypt and less than a mile from each other.

They are both thought to have been attacked by the same animal, likely a tiger shark.

While rare, shark attacks in the Red Sea are often fatal because it gets so deep so close to the coastline.

Dr Naylor said: ‘It’s a very unusual marine system because the seafloor drops so precipitously, as much as 1,000 feet in 100 yards in some places

‘Open oceans are often pretty bleak, and the pelagic sharks that live in them make their living by opportunism. 

‘Whatever potential food source they find, they’ll sample.’

Source: Read Full Article