Shark attack decline continues in Florida

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida saw a significant drop in shark attacks in 2019.

The Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File released its yearly worldwide shark attack summary on Tuesday.

There were 64 unprovoked attacks across the world last year.

The file defines “unprovoked” as “incidents where an attack on a live human occurs in the shark’s natural habitat with no human provocation of the shark.”

The United States led the world in shark attacks with 41, but none were fatal.

Florida led the country with 21 incidents. Second, on the list is Hawaii with nine attacks.

“For decades, Florida has topped global charts in the number of shark attacks, and the trend continued in 2019,” the file said in its report.

Volusia County alone saw nine incidents last year.

While those numbers may seem high, the International Shark Attack File confirmed this is a significant drop for the state from its most recent five-year annual average of 32 incidents.

Other shark attack incidents in Florida occurred in Duval (5), Brevard (2) and single incidents in Broward, Martin, Nassau, Palm Beach, and St. Johns counties.

Five people were killed in shark attacks this year, two of which were confirmed to be unprovoked.

Overall, the International Shark Attack File said shark attack numbers were down worldwide, compared to the recent five-year average of 82 reported incidents annually.

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