Where Shark Attacks Happen

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Scuba Diving Articles - Scuba Diving Resources
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 22:00
This compiled data from 1990-2008 shows the frequency of shark attacks by area of the world, broken down into fatal and non-fatal attacks.

Total number of shark attacks

This chart shows the number of shark attacks by area for the period of 1990 to 2008. This number includes both non-fatal and fatal attacks. The total recorded attacks was 843.

Total number of fatal shark attacks

This chart shows the number of fatal shark attacks by area for the period of 1990 to 2008. You can see that fatal shark attacks are actually incredibly rare. Over the 8 years of recorded there are only 66 fatal attacks (8.25 per year worldwide)

Shark attack fatality rate by area

Note that these rates can be affected by factors such as: quality of healthcare in the area, remoteness of dive location and typical shark species in the area.

Overall shark attack fatality rate


The single most influential factor in fatality rates of shark attacks it he level of quickly available medical care. Medical advances over the last 20 years have been significant, meaning the actually average shark attack fatalities per year has been lowered to 5-6.

This fatal incident decrease also comes hand in hand with a huge increase over 20 years of the amount of people taking part in swimming, bathing, surfing, kite-boarding, water-skiing, snorkelling, spear-fishing and scuba diving.

On average, humans kill 100,000,000 sharks per year.

Data sourced from: International Shark Attack File, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida