What ocean has no sharks?
Yearly Worldwide Shark Attack Summary
T he Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File investigated 108 alleged shark-human interactions worldwide in 2022. ISAF confirmed 57 unprovoked shark bites on humans and 32 provoked bites.
|No assignment could be made||3|
“Unprovoked bites” are defined as incidents in which a bite on a live human occurs in the shark’s natural habitat with no human provocation of the shark.
“Provoked bites” occur when a human initiates interaction with a shark in some way. These include instances when divers are bitten after harassing or trying to touch sharks, bites on spearfishers, bites on people attempting to feed sharks, bites occurring while unhooking or removing a shark from a fishing net and so forth.
Of the remaining 19 cases, four involved bites to motorized or non-motorized marine vessels (“boat bites”), two sea disasters where victim’s boats sank, and four involved shark-inflicted post-mortem bites (“scavenge”). Three cases were regarded as “doubtful,” or incidents that likely did not involve a shark. These included one case attributed to a bluefish and one collision with a shark.
In three cases, the nature of the incident was unclear with the available data (“No assignment could be made”). An additional two cases could not be confirmed as a shark-human interaction (“Not confirmed”). ISAF will continue to investigate these cases in collaboration with local law enforcement and medical professionals until they can be resolved satisfactorily.
2022 at a glance
Global total of unprovoked shark bites significantly lower than average
The 2022 worldwide total of 57 confirmed unprovoked cases is lower than the most recent five-year (2017-2021) average of 70 incidents annually. There were nine shark-related fatalities this year, five of which are assigned as unprovoked. This number is in line with the 5 year annual global average of six unprovoked fatalities per year.
Annual fluctuations in shark-human interactions are common. Despite 2021’s spike in fatalities, 2022 was a return to typical long-term trends which show a decreasing number of annual fatalities. Year-to-year variability in oceanographic, socioeconomic and meteorological conditions significantly influences the local abundance of sharks and humans in the water.
U.S. leads world in number of unprovoked bites
Consistent with long-term trends, the United States recorded the most unprovoked shark bites in 2022, with 41 confirmed cases. This is lower than the 47 incidents that occurred in the U.S. in 2021. The 41 cases represent 72% of the worldwide total. This is an increase from 2021 when 64% of the worldwide unprovoked bites occurred in the U.S.
Australia’s total of nine unprovoked incidents was lower than the most recent five-year annual average of 15 incidents for the region. Four bites occurred in New South Wales, four bites occurred in Western Australia, and a single incident occurred in Victoria.
Egypt and South Africa each reported two incidents, all of which were fatal. Brazil, New Zealand and Thailand all reported single incidents in 2022.
Florida had most unprovoked bites in U.S.
For decades, Florida has topped global charts in the number of shark bites, and this trend continued in 2022. Florida’s 16 cases represent 39% of the U.S. total and 28% of unprovoked bites worldwide. This is lower than Florida’s most recent five-year annual average of 22 incidents.
In total, unprovoked bites by state were New York (8), California(4), South Carolina (4), Hawaii (5), North Carolina (2) and single incidents in both Texas and Alabama. One of the incidents in Hawaii was fatal.
In Florida, Volusia County had the most shark bites (7), representing 44% of the state’s total. This represents a decrease from the five-year annual average of nine incidents in the area; however, Volusia County experiences considerable variation in the number of bites from one year to the next. Of the nine remaining bites, four occurred in Monroe, and single incidents were reported in Martin, Nassau, Pinellas, Brevard and Palm Beach counties.
Most bites related to surfing and board sports
|Victim Activity at Time of Encounter|
Breaking from recent trends, surfers and those participating in board sports accounted for less incidents (35% of the total cases). Swimmers and waders accounted for the majority of incidents at 43%. Snorkelers/free divers accounted for 9%, and the remainder of activities were too varied to combine. These included jumping in the water, floating on a raft, and scuba diving (13%).
Risk of being bitten by a shark remains extremely low
Short-term trends show both fatal and non-fatal bites to be decreasing. The total number of unprovoked shark bites worldwide is extremely low, given the number of people participating in aquatic recreation each year. Fatality rates have been declining for decades, reflecting advances in beach safety, medical treatment and public awareness.
ISAF offers resources for reducing your risk of a shark bite and instructions for what to do if you encounter a shark.
Full Press Release: Shark bites tie for 10-year low in 2022 but spiked in regional hotspots By Jerald Pinson
Members of the press are also encouraged to check out our “Media Resources” page.
Gavin Naylor, Ph.D.
Program Director, International Shark Attack File
Florida Program for Shark Research
Florida Museum of Natural History – University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611 USA
International Shark Attack Files
Florida Museum of Natural History
1659 Museum Rd
PO Box 117800
University of Florida
Gainesville FL 32611-7800
Are There Any Oceans or Sea Without Sharks?
Despite their importance, shark populations worldwide decline due to overfishing and habitat loss. The purpose of this article is to explore the presence of sharks in oceans and examine whether there are any oceans without sharks.
We will look at the distribution of sharks in different ocean regions, the factors that affect shark populations, and the potential consequences of the absence of sharks in certain oceans.
Is there an Ocean Without Sharks?
Sharks can be found in all oceans, from warm tropical waters to cold polar regions. However, their distribution is not uniform and varies depending on the species.
For example, great white sharks are found mostly in coastal waters of the Northern and Southern hemispheres, while whale sharks are typically found in tropical and warm temperate waters.
Which Ocean has the Least Sharks?
It is difficult to say which ocean has the least number of sharks because shark populations can be vary greatly depending on the specific location & habitat within an ocean.
However, likely, areas of the ocean that have been heavily fished and have poor water quality and habitat degradation will have lower shark populations.
Additionally, some regions of the ocean may be naturally less suitable for shark populations due to water temperature and salinity. That being said, the Arctic Ocean has the least number of shark species compared to other oceans.
Due to its extremely cold temperatures and low salinity, only a few shark species, such as the Greenland shark and the Arctic sleeper shark, can survive in this region.
Additionally, human activities such as commercial fishing and oil and gas exploration are also a threat to the survival of these shark species in the Arctic Ocean.
What Would Happen to the Ocean Without Sharks
The loss of sharks can have significant impacts on ocean ecosystems. Sharks play important roles as apex predators, controlling the populations of prey species and helping to maintain the balance of marine food webs.
Without sharks, populations of prey species may increase, leading to a cascade of negative effects on the ecosystem.
The loss of sharks can also disrupt the ocean’s carbon cycle, as sharks consume large amounts of carbon-rich plankton and sink to the ocean floor when they die, where their carbon-rich bodies are sequestered for decades.
Are there Sharks in Every Sea?
Most of the seas have sharks, but the species of shark in each sea can differ because of factors like salinity levels and habitat preference. Some of the most famous seas are:
1. Dead Sea
The Dead Sea, located between Israel and Jordan, is a unique and highly saline water with a very low oxygen level. This makes it inhospitable for most aquatic life, including sharks.
Sharks require a certain level of oxygen to survive, and the highly saline and low-oxygen conditions of the Dead Sea would not be suitable for them.
Additionally, the Dead Sea is landlocked and doesn’t have any connection with the open ocean, further making it impossible for sharks to survive in it.
The Dead Sea is known to have unique microorganisms and microfauna adapted to its harsh environment, but sharks are not among them.
2. Mediterranean Sea
There are several species of sharks that can be found in the Mediterranean Sea, including the great white, blue shark, the shortfin mako shark, and the sand tiger shark.
However, shark populations in the Mediterranean have declined significantly in recent years due to overfishing and habitat loss.
Additionally, the Mediterranean is considered a semi-enclosed sea, the water exchange with the Atlantic is limited, and the water temperature is relatively warm. Thus some species of sharks that prefer colder waters would not be found in the Mediterranean.
3. Red Sea
The Red Sea is considered one of the world’s most biodiverse bodies of water and is home to a wide variety of shark species.
Although great white sharks are not present in the red sea because of their warm water, they contain some of the most commonly found shark species, including the blacktip reef shark, the whitetip reef shark, and the silvertip and the tiger shark.
The Red Sea is also home to some endangered species, such as the scalloped hammerhead shark and the oceanic whitetip shark.
4. Black Sea
A few species of sharks can be found in the Black Sea; however, their populations are considered low due to the unique hydrographic characteristics of the sea.
The Black Sea is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by the Bosporus strait, which has a very narrow and shallow opening, and the Dardanelles strait, which is even narrower. This makes it difficult for many marine species, including sharks, to migrate into the Black Sea.
Additionally, the Black Sea is a landlocked basin, which means it doesn’t have a direct connection with the ocean. The water in the Black Sea is also less salty than the ocean, which is not suitable for most shark species to survive.
As a result, the Black Sea is not considered a prime habitat for sharks. Famous shark species like bull sharks are not found in the black sea, but it is home to many shark species like dogfish and Hammerhead.
In conclusion, sharks can be found in all oceans, but their distribution varies depending on the species and regions. Additionally, the Arctic and Antarctic oceans are known for their extremely cold temperatures, which make them inhospitable for most shark species.
Also, every sea has sharks except the dead sea because there is no fish or plant in it due to its high salinity level. However, shark populations have declined dramatically in recent years due to overfishing, habitat loss, and pollution.
Stricter regulations on the fin trade and increasing public awareness of the importance of sharks to marine ecosystems are crucial for their conservation.
Are There Sharks in Cancun?
Are there sharks in Cancun is a question many people ask. However, there doesn’t seem to be much information on the Internet to answer that question. Let’s put that right.
The straightforward answer is yes there are indeed sharks in Cancun. But if you are concerned about being attacked by one, stop worrying right now!
There are sharks in all Seas and Oceans except for the Dead Sea (too salty) and very few in the Arctic. Sharks are distributed worldwide and a vital part of any marine ecosystem. They help to maintain marine diversity.
They ensure that species further down the food chain don’t over populate and contribute in keeping the reefs of the Caribbean in healthy condition by doing so. And that’s something we can all agree on.
Shark Attack Statistics
Shark attacks are very rare worldwide in general. There have only been a few recorded incidents of attacks by sharks in Cancun, none of which were fatal. In fact, the country with the highest incidence of shark attacks is the good old USA. Source
Further statistics from SurfersToday below (at the time of writing) show Florida being the number one hotspot for shark attacks in the World. Florida has had 848 incidents. California comes in 5th with 124, South Carolina 7th with 105, North Carolina 9th with 67, and Texas 16th with 44.
Mexico (the whole country, not just Cancun) scores a lowly 18th registering only 40 attacks over the same 450 year time period.
The fact is you are thirty times more likely to be attacked by a shark in the US than you are in Cancun!
However, it’s quite understandable to be fearful of sharks in Cancun. Particularly with movies such as Jaws and the occasional shock and awe headline that some newspapers like to run with.
I am pretty sure the sea did not “fill” with blood, the Caribbean Sea is a huge volume of liquid that would need to be displaced! And the implication the shark ‘targeted’ a Canadian is nothing short of sensationalism.
Shark Attacks in Cancun
Nevertheless, shark attacks have indeed occurred in Cancun. There will likely be another at some point in the future, as long as sharks and tourists share the same environment.
Strangely, there were several attacks in a very short space of time in 2011. That’s 8 years ago as I write this post.
There’s an interesting documentary about this which speculated various hypotheses why the attacks happened when they did. The documentary is “When Sharks Attack” by National Geographic, Series 4 Episode 5. Unfortunately, it’s not available on YouTube, but if you get a chance to see it it’s an interesting watch.
Those were the first attacks for many years and as far as I know there haven’t been any recorded incidents since.
Personally, I think it’s one of those statistical flukes. Like when you lose your car keys twice in the space of a week, and then don’t lose them again for another ten years Nevertheless, I don’t expect that to be much consolation to the unfortunate people who were injured.
To further calm your nerves it seems that all the attacks by sharks in Cancun were provoked.
They were a result of unintentionally poking, touching or perhaps coming close to a maternal shark’s newborn babies. Fortunately, none of the attacks resulted in a fatality.
It follows that attacks by sharks in Cancun are extremely rare and the chances of you being the victim of one are so remote it’s not something you should even worry about at all.
Shark Observation Towers and Shark Nets in Cancun
There are some locations around the World where the risk of a shark attack is regarded as sufficiently serious for the authorities to instigate security measures. Cancun is not one of those.
There are a (very) few observation towers located along Cancun beaches to ensure lifeguards have an elevated view of people enjoying the water. But that is more as a general water safety precaution than a specific shark attack threat.
There are no shark nets on Cancun beaches.
What Kind of Sharks Are There In Cancun?
Aside of timeshare sharks at the Cancun Airport, the Caribbean is host to around 40 different species of shark. This includes the small dogfish kind and several other species that are very similar in nature or rare. The most prevalent shark species in the waters surrounding Cancun are:
Bull sharks in Cancun are around 7-8 feet long and weighing up to 290lbs. When fully grown the bull shark has a broad flat snout. It has been known to travel into freshwater rivers up to 700 miles inland (Alton Illinois, Mississippi River).
Bull Sharks often inhabit shallow waters, the male is territorial and is one of the three most aggressive shark species.
I actually saw a Bull Shark in Cancun once during one of our catamaran cruises. The shark was a dark shape in about 12 feet of water, half a mile from shore and casually passed by.
Our boat crew confirmed it was a Bull Shark and that they rarely see them even though they are seaborne daily. In around 500 cruises out to sea in Cancun that is the only occasion I’ve seen any kind of shark in the wild.
Caribbean Reef Shark
The Caribbean reef Shark can measure up to 8 feet (2.44 m) long and weigh up to 150lbs. It is dark gray with a white underbelly and is normally harmless. However, it has been known to be aggressive in the presence of food and worldwide has been responsible for a handful of attacks.
With their infamous head structure these are easily recognized. They grow up to 19 feet (6 m) in length. They are light gray with a greenish tint. Hammerhead sharks have known to attack humans but seldom, and no fatalities have been recorded.
Makos grow up to 12 feet (3.66 m) long and can weigh as much as 1200lbs. They are blue gray in color and can be found in warm waters worldwide. They are the fastest swimming shark, capable of swimming up to 25mph (40.23 km/h) with bursts to 56mph (90.12 km/h). Generally non-aggressive, they have been responsible for one fatality in the last 450 years across the World.
Growing up to 10feet (3.05 m) in length and weighing up to 200lbs their yellow coloring acts as camouflage when swimming over sandy ground. Another non-aggressive species that has been responsible for only 10 attacks in the last 500 years
*Attack statistics taken from the International Shark Attack File
These sharks grow to around 10 feet (3.05 m) and have a broad head. They stick close to the ocean floor have tiny teeth which they use to feed on crustaceans and small fish.
Nurse Sharks are extremely sedentary and are an attraction for divers in the Riviera Maya. Sadly, these are also the sharks that are enclosed in small pens for tourists to have their photos taken with on Isla Mujeres. More on this below.
Whale Sharks are the largest fish in the ocean, with adults averaging 32 feet (9.75 m) and weighing in at over 20,000lbs or 9 tons! They are filter feeders and thrive on plankton, fish eggs and crustacean larvae.
A migratory species Whale Sharks can be found off the coasts of Cancun from mid May to September and it is possible to book whale shark tours to swim alongside these graceful giants. They are totally harmless.