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 2014, more than 660 people lost their lives due to roughly 3000 shark attacks.

USA and Australia are the most sharks infested countries in the world. From year 1580, a total of 607 shark attacks killed more than 155 people in Australia. In the United States, 1352 attacks have already caused over 35 deaths.

Florida and California have been suffering more than any other US state. With nearly 900 attacks, both territories have lost over 20 lives. Maui, Oahu and Kauai record all fatalities (10) ever in the Hawaiian Islands.

In the African continent, of all 345 attacks and 94 deaths, South Africa has had 250 attacks and 54 life losses. The Mascarene Islands have a 50 percent rate of casualties - 42 attacks and 19 deaths.

In South America, Brazil is on top of the list when it comes to shark attacks (103) and human losses (22), 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 (15) 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 607 shark attacks and over 155 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. Learn how to survive a shark attack.

The most shark-infested regions in the world are:

Territory Total Attacks Fatal Attacks Last Fatality
Florida (USA) 778 11 2014
South Africa 250 54 2014
New South Wales (Australia) 233 61 2015
Queensland (Australia) 187 50 2011
California (USA) 120 10 2012
Brazil 103 22 2013
South Carolina (USA) 92 2 1852
Western Australia (Australia) 83 16 2017
North Carolina (USA) 63 3 2001
Fiji Islands 58 22 2017
Maui (Hawaii) 55 5 2015
New Zealand 50 8 2013
Papua New Guinea 48 - -
Mascarene Islands (Reunion, Mauritius and Rodrigues) 42 19 2017
Texas (USA) 42 2 1962
South Australia (Australia) 41 14 2011
Mexico 40 19 2008
Victoria (Australia) 38 8 1970
Oahu (Hawaii) 35 5 1993
Bahamas 28 1 2010
Caribbean 27 - -
Oregon (USA) 27 - -
Kauai (Hawaii) 24 - -
Iran 23 8 1985
Egypt 18 4 2015
New Jersey (USA) 15 6 1960
Greece 15 12 1969
India 14 5 1956
New Caledonia 14 1 2015
Tasmania (Australia) 14 4 1993
Japan 14 7 2000
Italy 13 3 1954
Hong Kong 13 - -
Georgia (USA) 13 - -
Philippines 11 6 1960
Mozambique 11 3 1998
Solomon Islands 11 - -
Big Island (Hawaii) 11 - -
Cuba 11 7 1993
Ecuador 11 - -
Puerto Rico 11 2 1924
Vietnam 10 - -
Panama 10 - -
New York (USA) 10 - -
Indonesia 9 2 1950
Kiribati 8 - -
Iraq 8 - -
Marshall Islands 8 - -
Alabama (USA) 8 - -
Northern Territory (Australia) 7 1 1934
Kenya 6 - -
Spain 6 1 1902
French Polynesia 5 - -
Lybia 5 - -
Croatia 5 - -
Canary Islands 5 - -
Saudi Arabia 5 - -
Malta 5 - -
Virginia (USA) 5 1 2001
France 5 1 19--
Venezuela 4 2 1971
Argentina 4 - -
Singapore 4 3 1954
Micronesia 4 - -
Lousiana (USA) 4 - -
Delaware (USA) 4 - -
American Samoa 4 - -
Costa Rica 4 - -
Tonga 4 - -
Seychelles 4 2 2011
Tanzania 4 - -
Haiti 4 - -
Sri Lanka 4 - -
US Virgin Islands 3 - -
Bermuda 3 - -
Russia 3 - -
Somalia 3 - -
Massachusetts (USA) 3 1 1936
Cocos Islands 3 - -
Jamaica 3 - -
Tunisia 3 - -
Madagascar 3 - -
Dominican Republic 3 - -
Thailand 3 - -
Taiwan 3 - -
Vanuatu 2 - -
Wake Island 2 - -
El Salvador 2 - -
Cayman Islands 2 - -
Turks and Caicos Islands 2 - -
Molokai (Hawaii) 2 - -
United Kingdom 2 - -
Washington (USA) 2 - -
Sudan 2 - -
Yemen 2 - -
Nicaragua 2 - -
Mississipi (USA) 2 - -
Colombia 1 - -
Antigua and Barbuda 1 - -
Cape Verde 1 - -
British Indian Ocean Territory 1 - -
China 1 - -
Cyprus 1 - -
Djibuti 1 - -
Guam 1 - -
Israel 1 - -
Liberia 1 - -
Martinique 1 - -
Nigeria 1 - -
Pakistan 1 - -
Finland 1 - -
Senegal 1 - -
Sierra Leone 1 - -
South Korea 1 - -
Uruguay 1 - -
Malaysia 1 - -
Maine (USA) 1 - -
Connecticut (USA) 1 - -
Rhode Island (USA) 1 - -
Maldive Islands 1 - -


Updated on June 8, 2017