- 17 May 2013 | Surfing
There are over 470 species of sharks and they have been living on Planet Earth for 420 million years.
The smallest shark - the dwarf lantern shark - is only 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in length, while the whale shark is the largest specie in the world, with approximately 12 meters (39 feet).
Sharks live in all oceans down to depths of 2,000 meters (6,600 feet). Usually, they do not live in freshwater with the exception of the bull shark and river shark.
Teeth and jaws of sharks are deadly, but only the great white, oceanic white tip, tiger and bull sharks are responsible for fatal attacks on humans. The International Shark Attack File reveals that between 1580 and 2012, up to 484 people lost their lives due to 2569 shark attacks.
USA and Australia are the most sharks infested countries in the world. From year 1580, a total of 510 shark attacks killed 144 people in Australia. In the United States, 1022 attacks have already caused 36 deaths.
Florida and California have been suffering more than any other US state. With a total of 772 attacks, both territories have claimed 21 lives. Maui, Oahu and Kauai record all fatalities (8) ever in the Hawaiian Islands.
In the African continent, of all 326 attacks and 89 deaths, South Africa has had 234 attacks and 52 life losses. The Mascarene Islands have a 50% rate of casualties - 30 attacks and 15 deaths.
In South America, Brazil is on top of the list when it comes to shark attacks (97) and human losses (23), since 1931. Pernambuco is the most deadly region.
Europe's mild waters are quite protected from sharks and their jaws. Italy, with its warmer seas, leads the chart with 10 attacks and two deaths, but it is Greece that has the largest number of fatalities (8). The Old Continent has lost a total of 17 people for sharks, since 1847.
Australia is a shark infested country, with three different grades of probabilities - mild (Northern Territory, Tasmania and Cocos Islands), moderate (Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria ) and severe (Queensland and New South Wales).
With a total of 510 shark attacks and 144 deaths since 1700, the Australian continent is always under red alert. Discover our shark attack map and get an anti-shark defense system to protect yourself while surfing.
The most shark-infested regions are:
|Territory||Total Attacks||Fatal Attacks||Last Fatality|
|New South Wales (Australia)||195||57||2008|
|South Carolina (USA)||71||2||1852|
|Western Australia (Australia)||65||14||2012|
|North Carolina (USA)||47||3||2001|
|New Jersey (USA)||18||6||1960|
|Big Island (Hawaii)||11||0||-|
|Northern Territory (Australia)||5||1||1934|