WORLDWIDE Shark Attack Spots DISCOVERED: interactive map showing areas with the most strikes

last weekA diver was left ‘screaming for help’ after being bitten by a shark off the coast of Cornwall in the first attack of its kind in British waters in 175 years.

The woman, who has not been identified, was in Penzance, Cornwall with Blue Shark Snorkel Trips when the accident happened last Tuesday.

Although unprovoked shark attacks are extremely rare in the seas around the UK, they are much more common in other parts of the world.

Florida The museum made a mobile phone interactive map which allows you to study the number of unprovoked shark attacks around the world.

This shows that the US is the world’s shark attack hotspot, with 1,563 unprovoked attacks since 1580, followed by Australia (682 attacks), South Africa (258 attacks) and Brazil (110 attacks).

The Museum of Florida has prepared a handy interactive map based on data from the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) that allows you to explore the number of unprovoked shark attacks around the world since 1900.

While unprovoked shark attacks are extremely rare in British waters, they are far more common in other parts of the world.  Photo: great white shark

While unprovoked shark attacks are extremely rare in British waters, they are far more common in other parts of the world. Photo: great white shark

Countries with the most unprovoked shark attacks since 1580

  1. USA – 1564
  2. Australia – 682
  3. Republic of South Africa – 258
  4. Brazil – 110
  5. New Zealand – 56
  6. Papua New Guinea – 48
  7. Mascarene Islands – 47
  8. Mexico – 41
  9. Bahamas islands – 33
  10. Iran – 23

The interactive map is based on data from the International Shark Attack File (ISAF).

“(ISAF) is the world’s only scientifically documented comprehensive database of all known shark attacks,” the Museum of Florida explains on its website.

“Beginning in 1958, there are currently over 6,800 separate inquiries covering the period from the early 1500s to the present.”

The slider at the bottom of the map lets you change the date range from 1900 to 2021, and you can also use the radio buttons to select specific shark species and whether or not the attacks were fatal.

You can then explore the number of unprovoked shark attacks around the world by boxing data points of interest.

There were 137 suspected shark-human collisions worldwide in 2021, according to ISAF.

Among them, 73 were unprovoked bites – the bite of a living person occurred in the shark’s natural habitat – and 39 provoked bites.

“Of the remaining 25 cases, four are associated with bites from motorized or non-motorized marine vessels (“boat bites”), and one is associated with post-mortem shark bites (“scavenger”),” explains the Museum of Florida.

“Five cases were considered ‘doubtful’ or incidents that are likely not related to the shark.

“They included one stingray-related case, three bony fish-related cases, and one rock-scraping injury.”

The map shows the US is the world's shark hotspot, with 1,563 unprovoked attacks since 1580, followed by Australia (682 attacks), South Africa (258 attacks) and Brazil (110 attacks).

The map shows the US is the world’s shark hotspot, with 1,563 unprovoked attacks since 1580, followed by Australia (682 attacks), South Africa (258 attacks) and Brazil (110 attacks).

In Europe, Greece is the region with the most shark attacks since 1847 (15), followed by Italy (13) and Spain (6).  However, only three attacks were recorded in British waters.

In Europe, Greece is the region with the most shark attacks since 1847 (15), followed by Italy (13) and Spain (6). However, only three attacks were recorded in British waters.

Sharks found in British waters

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

blue shark – 10 miles from the south coast of Cornwall

thresher shark – English Channel off the coast of Devon

shortfin mako shark – Bristol Channel and the coast of Wales

White shark – Most common on the south coast

Whale shark – Hebrides Sea

Of the 73 unprovoked shark bites reported last year, the vast majority (47) were reported in the US, with one fatal.

Twelve attacks have occurred in Australia, three of which have been fatal.

Meanwhile, Brazil, New Zealand and South Africa each reported three bites and one death in 2021, while New Caledonia reported two incidents, both of which were fatal.

Most of the bites were found to be related to surfing and boardboarding.

“Following the latest trends, surfers and table sports players account for the most incidents (51 percent of total cases),” the Florida Museum said in a statement.

“This group spends a lot of time in the surf area, an area commonly frequented by sharks, and may inadvertently attract sharks by splashing, paddling and washing.

“Swimmers and waders accounted for 39 percent of the incidents, with the rest of the incidents split between snorkelers/freedivers (four percent) and body surfers (six percent).

While these statistics may sound alarming, the Florida Museum assures that the risk of being bitten by a shark remains extremely low.

“Although the number of fatal bites in 2021 was higher than usual, we do not consider this a cause for concern,” the department added.

“At present, there is no evidence that the recent surge in deaths is associated with any natural phenomena.

“This is most likely a coincidence, a finding underscored by the fact that the number of unprovoked bites is in line with recent five-year trends.”

Last week, a diver was left

Last week, a diver was left “screaming for help” after being bitten by a shark off the coast of Cornwall in the first attack of its kind in 175 years – a victim described it as a “very scary incident” at sea. In the photo: blue shark

Last week, a diver was left “screaming for help” after being bitten by a shark off the coast of Cornwall in the first attack of its kind in 175 years – a victim described it as a “very scary incident” at sea.

The woman, who has not been identified, was in Penzance, Cornwall with Blue Shark Snorkel Trips when the accident happened last Thursday.

The hapless adventurer was swimming some 15 miles out at sea on a £180-per-person excursion when a shark, unprovoked, suddenly bit her on the leg.

The swimmer was rushed back to the chartered boat, where she received immediate first aid and was taken ashore for further treatment.

This is the first such shark attack on a human in British waters since 1847. In recent years, several fishermen have been bitten, but only after the sea creatures were brought aboard their boats.