Surfing: a sport of surfers and sharks

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 2013, up to 493 people lost their lives due to 2666 shark attacks.

USA and Australia are the most sharks infested countries in the world. From year 1580, a total of 520 shark attacks killed 146 people in Australia. In the United States, 1055 attacks have already caused 36 deaths.

Florida and California have been suffering more than any other US state. With a total of 797 attacks, both territories have claimed 21 lives. Maui, Oahu and Kauai record all fatalities (9) ever in the Hawaiian Islands.

In the African continent, of all 339 attacks and 93 deaths, South Africa has had 239 attacks and 53 life losses. The Mascarene Islands have a 50% rate of casualties - 33 attacks and 17 deaths.

In South America, Brazil is on top of the list when it comes to shark attacks (101) and human losses (24), 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, recorded 13 attacks and three deaths, but it is Greece that has the largest number of attacks (14) and fatalities (12). The Old Continent has lost a total of 27 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 520 shark attacks and 146 deaths since 1700, the Australians are 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
Florida (USA) 687 11 2010
South Africa 239 53 2013
New South Wales (Australia) 198 58 2013
Queensland (Australia) 163 45 2011
California (USA) 110 10 2012
Brazil 101 23 2013
South Carolina (USA) 72 2 1852
Western Australia (Australia) 69 15 2013
New Zealand 49 9 2013
Maui (Hawaii) 49 4 2013
North Carolina (USA) 48 3 2001
Mexico 39 19 2008
Texas (USA) 38 2 1962
Oahu (Hawaii) 35 5 1993
South Australia 35 15 2011
Victoria (Australia) 34 8 1970
Mascarene Islands (Reunion, Mauritius and Rodrigues) 33 17 2013
Oregon (USA) 26 0 -
Kauai (Hawaii) 24 0 -
Iran 23 8 1985
New Jersey (USA) 18 6 1960
Egypt 17 3 2010
India 14 5 1956
Greece 14 2 1969
Tasmania (Australia) 13 4 1993
Italy 13 3 1954
Japan 12 7 2000
Georgia (USA) 12 0 -
Philippines 11 6 1960
Mozambique 11 3 1998
Big Island (Hawaii) 11 0 -
Cuba 11 7 1993
Puerto Rico 10 2 1924
New York (USA) 8 0 -
Alabama (USA) 8 0 -
Indonesia 7 2 1950
Ecuador 6 0 -
Northern Territory (Australia) 5 1 1934
Virginia (USA) 5 1 2001
France 5 1 19--
Venezuela 4 2 1971
Argentina 4 0 -
Singapore 4 3 1954
Seychelles 4 2 2011
Spain 4 1 1902
Massachusetts (USA) 3 1 1936
Cocos Islands 3 0 -
Canary Islands 3 0 -
Delaware (USA) 3 0 -
United Kingdom 2 0 -
Washington (USA) 2 0 -
Molokai (Hawaii) 2 0 -
Dominican Republic 2 2 1963
Lousiana (USA) 1 0 -
Maine (USA) 1 0 -
Connecticut (USA) 1 0 -
Mississipi (USA) 1 0 -
Rhode Island (USA) 1 0 -
Maldive Islands 1 0 -


Updated on the 12th June, 2014