Florida led the world in shark attacks again in 2020 – San Bernardino Sun

Sydney N. Walton CNN

The United States once again became the capital of the world’s shark attacks in 2020. Thank you Florida!

Last year, the United States reported 33 unprovoked shark attacks, about 58 of the total number of unprovoked shark attacks worldwide, according to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) Yearly World Shark Attack Summary. Occupies%.

This is a decrease from 2019, when 64% of the world’s unprovoked bites occurred in the United States.

ISAF classifies by first determining whether a shark attack has been triggered or not.

“Unprovoked attacks are defined as attacks on living humans that occur in the shark’s natural habitat without humans provoking the shark,” said ISAF.

“The triggered attack occurs when a human begins to interact with the shark in some way. This is the bite of the spearfisher if the diver is bitten after trying to harass or contact the shark. This includes cases such as being bitten by people trying to feed sharks, unhooking sharks, or removing sharks from fishing nets. “

ISAF said it investigated 129 suspected shark-human interactions worldwide in 2020. 57 were unprovoked shark bites against humans and 39 were induced bites.

Of the 33 unprovoked shark attacks in the United States, 16 occurred in Florida. The state’s 16 incidents represent 28% of unprovoked bites worldwide.

“Florida has been above the global charts for shark bites for decades, and this trend continued in 2020,” ISAF said in a summary. “But in the state, it’s significantly reduced from the annual average of 30 incidents over the last five years.”

According to ISAF, eight shark bites in Florida, or 50% of the state’s total in 2020, occurred in Volsia County.

How the pandemic affected the process of reporting shark attacks

The ISAF said that the incidence of bites in both the United States and the world has declined over time, but “the number in 2020 is significantly lower than expected.”

Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Shark Research Program, said the impact of Covid-19 was speculated by him and his colleagues in March.

According to Naylor, the pandemic did not necessarily cause a reduction in cases, but it does affect the ability of researchers to track and confirm reported cases.

“We usually talk to doctors and nurses in the emergency room to create a report,” says Naylor. “But they were overwhelmed by Covid-19’s reaction and didn’t always have time to talk to many scientists asking detailed questions about the shark attack.”

Based on last year’s survey, ISAF said, “The reduction in observed shark bite cases could have been caused by extensive quarantine, closed beaches, and minimal vacation trips in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is sex. “

Shark-related deaths reported worldwide surge

ISAF has confirmed that 13 shark-related deaths this year, 10 of which have not been provoked, ISAF said in an annual global shark attack summary.

“This number is above the global average of four unprovoked deaths a year,” ISAF writes.

However, “despite the surge in deaths in 2020, long-term trends indicate a decline in annual deaths. Year-to-year fluctuations in oceanographic, socio-economic and meteorological conditions. Greatly affects the abundance of underwater sharks and human areas. “

Among the world’s deaths, Australia “had a higher than normal incidence of fatal bites in 2020,” ISAF said. The country had six confirmed deadly shark attacks.

“Australian people are not naive when it comes to the dangers inherent in surfing and swimming,” Nayler said. “So I was surprised that the number was as high as this year.”

Meanwhile, in the United States, three deadly shark attacks were confirmed last year. This is an increase from 2019, when there were no confirmed cases in the United States.

Three deadly attacks occurred in Hawaii, California, and Maine. Florida is usually home to most unprovoked attacks, but there were no confirmed deaths in Florida last year.

How to avoid shark attacks

According to ISAF, most bites (61% of all cases in 2020) were associated with surfing and board sports.

But don’t worry. “Short-term trends have shown a reduction in both fatal and non-fatal bites,” said ISAF.

“Given the number of people participating in aquatic recreation each year, the total number of unprovoked shark bites around the world is very small.”

If they find themselves in the ocean, ISAF said there are many ways to avoid shark attacks.

ISAF encourages people to “avoid being in the water during dark and twilight hours when sharks have the most active and competitive sensory benefits.”

Tissues also urge people to stay out of the water if they are bleeding because “sharks have a keen sense of smell.”

Shiny jewelery can also attract sharks because “reflected light resembles the luster of fish scales.”

ISAF also advised people to avoid wearing bright swimsuits and diving gear, as “high-contrast color apparel and gear used by humans underwater looks particularly sharks.”

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., Warner Media Company. all rights reserved.

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