Shark attacks on humans continue on an upward spiral in 2011 with 74 reported shark attacks and 14 fatalities.
Several explanations have been forwarded as to why there is a global increase in shark attacks, and sharks moving North into cooler waters where historically they have not been reported before.
Among them are:
- global warming
- over-fishing of fish stocks on which the sharks live, especially tuna
- more bathers going in the seas annually
- revenge. OK, I just added that one in, but sharks have been de-finned and left to die in ever-increasing numbers, and maybe they have decided to fight back.
Sharks have been around for a least 400 million years, longer than the dinosaur, and are supposedly very intelligent creatures. They are certainly at the top of oceanic food chain, having no natural enemies more powerful than them, except man, and we don't belong in the ocean.
There are around 400 species of shark, but only 30 of them pose a danger to human life. That has not prevented man from fishing them almost to extinction. An average year sees a massive 73 million sharks killed for their prized fins, that make a fortune in Asia.
If, annually, we kill 73,000,000 of them, they kill 11 of us. Who do you think poses the greatest danger?
|Year||Reported shark attacks||Fatal|
Fatal Shark Attacks in 2011
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ISAF 2011 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary
In February, 2012, The International Shark Attack file people based at the Florida Museum of Natural history, published their annual report, ISAF 2011 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary.
They have left me somewhat confused, and I quote:
Twelve fatalities resulted from unprovoked attacks in 2011, considerably higher than totals from recent years (the 2001-2010 yearly average was 4.3) and the highest yearly total since 1993 (also 12). These unprovoked fatalities were recorded from Australia (3), Costa Rica (1), Kenya (1), New Caledonia (1), Reunion (2), the Seychelles (2), and South Africa (2).
I make it 14 fatalities, not 12.
I also make it 4 fatalities in Australia and 3 in South Africa (and not 3 and 2), all of which cases are documented below, which accounts for the missing two deaths. I am assuming they are not counting Bryn Martin's death in Australia as it was not witnessed and his body disappeared, and one of the South African shark attack fatalities was a spear fisherman, which means his death will be classed as 'provoked', and not completely accidental.
Seychelles shark attacks
FATAL - Honeymooner Ian Redmond from the UK was attacked and killed while his new wife looked helplessly on from the beach in Praslin Island, Seychelles, In August, 2011. The shark was later identified by its tooth which was still in Mr Redmond's body. It is thought to be a Great White.
FATAL - A few days earlier in the same area, French tourist, Nicolas Francois Xavier Virolle, was attacked and killed by a shark.
The authorities in the Seychelles are now planning to install shark nets around their two main tourist beaches and no-one is being allowed in the water until the nets are in place.
Russian Shark Attacks
Shark Attacks in Russia
In Russia, on Primorsky Krai on the east coast, two young men were attacked a day apart. Denis Udovenko, 25, was enjoying an evening swim with his wife when he was savagely attacked by what is believed to be a Great White. He lost both of his arms below the elbow.
Valerija Sidorovich, 16, was attacked the next day in another spot along the Sea of Japan, 30 miles away from the first attack. He was diving in 100 metres of water when he was attacked. He was largely saved by his wet suit but he sustained severe injuries to both of his legs.
At the end of August, yet another Russian was attacked, this time a 26 year old man. This came the day after the No Swimming Ban in Russia's Pacific coast was lifted. He suffered a badly injured forearm as well as bites to his body.
This is the first time Russia has ever had a shark attack in their coastal waters and to have three in such a short space of time has sent the country into a media frenzy.
Australian Shark Attacks
- Exmouth, Western Australia was the scene of yet another attack, this time a 58 year old snorkeller who received a badly lacerated elbow while snorkeling with his wife 50 metres offshore.
- In late March, a surfer was attacked at Headland Beach, near Crowded Head, New South Wales, Australia, by a bull shark. Dave Pearson, 48, suffered severe injuries to his arm and face.
- FATAL - In February, 50 year old experienced diver Peter Clarkson, was taken by two Great white sharks while diving for abalone, a type of edible mollusc, from a boat 25km off Coffin Bay in south Australia. He was surfacing from a dive when the boat's skipper, Howard Rodd, witnessed the underwater attack in which Mr Clarkson was carried off. His body has not been recovered.
- In March, 24 year old Lisa Mondy was attacked by a Great White shark in Nelson Bay in New South Wales while wakeboarding. The shark inflicted wounds to her face and arms, severing tendons and nerves.
- In April, at Red Bluff, Western Australia, an unnamed 17 year old boy was attracting a 1 metre reef shark towards him by dangling a fish at the end of a line, when a wave knocked him over.The shark promptly bit his ankle!
- Round about the same time, a man put his finger inside a reef shark's mouth to pose for a photo. It bit him!
- FATAL - 21 year old Kyle Burden was killed by a shark while bodyboarding with friends at Bunker Bay, near Dunsborough in Western Australia in early September. He died almost instantly from horrific wounds. The type of shark is unknown but thought to either a Great White or a Tiger Shark.
- FATAL - Bryn Martin, aged 64, who disappeared while swimming off Cottesloe Beach, Perth City, Australia on the 10th of October 2011, was probably taken by a shark. Police divers recovered Mr Martin's trunks from near the area he was last seen. They were torn in a way that experts describe as being consistent with a white pointer shark, which is another name for the great white.
- FATAL - On the 22nd of October, 2011, a 32 year old man,George Thomas Wainwright, was fatally injured by a 3M great white shark while diving off Rottnest Island in Perth, Western Australia.
- On the 7th of December, 14 year old Ronald Mason suffered minor injuries to his left leg when he was bitten by a Wobbegong shark while surfing at Maroubra, New South Wales, Australia.
- On the 11th of December, 51 year old Steve King was attacked by a 10 foot white shark which surfing at Angourie, New South Wales, Australia. he suffered 5 puncture wounds to his thigh.
Kyle Burden's friends says farewell with a paddle out
A French diplomat was attacked in Papua New Guinea while kite-surfing. The 2 metre shark responsible is believed to be a Tiger Shark. Thomas Viot, 30, received deep lacerations to his right leg.
In Puerto Rico, 27 year old Lydia Strunk from San Diego in California was attacked and bitten on the leg by a 6 foot long Tiger shark. She entered the water at Mosquito Bay on Vieques, an island that is situated east of Puerto Rico, with 4 others, hoping to see some glow-in-the-dark fish, when the attack happened in early September.
Those in San Diego are not immune to sharks as this photograph shows.
This photo of surfers unaware of a shark surfing with them was taken in Encinitas, California, just after Labor Day, 2011.
On the 25th of December, 23 year old Félix Júnior Lainez Trejos suffered lacerations to his left thigh and calf while surfing at Barandúa Beach, Santa Elena, Ecuador. The type of shark is unknown.
South African shark attacks
- FATAL - In the middle of January, 16 year old Zama Ndamase was fatally injured by a shark while surfing at Second Beach, Port St Johns, Transkei, South Africa.
- FATAL - 49 year old Tim Van Heerden has died after being attacked while surfing off South Africa's Plettenberg Bay. This is reported to be the first ever fatal shark attack at this location. A Great White is suspected. This happened a week after the honeymooner was killed in the Seychelles. Mr. Heerden died hours after the shark bit off his leg and groin at Lookout Beach.
- In mid-July, Denver Struwig, a 27 year old surfer, was attacked and badly mauled in Chintsa East, Eastern Cape, South Africa by a 3 metre bull shark.
- At the end of June, 22 year old US citizen Paolo Stanchi, was scuba diving on the Aliwal Shoal off the Rocky Bay coast, KwaZul-Natal, South Africa, when he was attacked by a 3 metre dusky shark and suffered lacerations to his legs and hands.
- FATAL - In May, spear fisherman Warren smart, 28, died from massive blood loss after being bitten in the thigh by a bull shark at Leven Point, 23km north of Cape Vidal and 57km south of Sodwana, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
- In early May, spear fisherman Trevor Burgher, 37. was bitten on the left calf by an unknown shark off Palm Beach on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
- On September 28th, Michael Cohen, a 42 year old man from Plumstead, London, UK lost both of his legs when attacked by a great white shark at Fish Hoek Beach in Cape Town, South Africa. Apparently the man entered the water 90 minutes after the shark had been spotted in the area, and the beach was closed. On leg was bitten off above the knee, while the other was badly mauled below the knee and could not be saved. His life was only saved by the application of a tourniquet at the scene to stop blood loss.
Video from Fish Hoek Beach, South Africa, just after the attack
Caribbean shark attacks
- At the end of June, in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, a 28 year old shark biologist was bitten in the shoulder by a large shark that remains unidentified.
The man was on vacation and snorkeling in an area where breaking waves caused sea bubbles making visibility poor, when he felt as though someone had walloped him with a baseball bat. Instead it was a shark taking a bite.
Being concerned with marine conservation, the man prefers to remain anonymous, but you can read about him (and see his injuries) - Shark Bites Snorkeler.
- In the middle of June, fisherman Cefor Lewis, 35, suffered a large bite on his right mid-calf by a shark which at one point lifted him right out of the water he had entered to do some spear fishing. This happened at sea between Providenciales and French Cay, Turks & Caicos, Caribbean Sea.
US Shark Attacks 2011
- Texas and Alabama shark attacks
- At the end of May, 22 year old Kori Robertson was bitten in the thigh by what is believed to be a bull shark. She was in waist-deep waters 50 metres off Follet's Island near Surfside Beach, Texas.
- Mid-June, Orange beach, Alabama. 20 year old Tyler McConnell was badly bitten in the ankle after he fell off his jet-ski. It was widely believed he was attacked by a bull shark.
- Mustang island, Nueces County, Texas was the setting where, in early July, 14 year old Shawn Hamilton was bitten on the right foot by a 5' long bull shark while fishing with his father in waist-deep water.
- Again in early July, 12 year Nicholas Vossler nearly had his left foot bitten off by a bull shark at Sunday Beach, near Port O'Conner in Texas.
Florida shark attacks
- At the end of April at Phil Foster Park, Riviera beach, Florida, a spear-fisherman, 32 year old Anthony Segrich was attacked by a bull shark and severely injured with a deep bite in his calf.
- In the middle of May, 37 year old surfer, Adrian Bronson, was bitten by a small shark at Ormond Beach, Valusia County, Florida. His injuries were minor.
- Scuba diving instructor Daniel Webb was attacked by a black-tipped reef shark at Jupiter Inlet, Florida, while 70 ' underwater. He suffered severe lacerations to his right leg.
- At the end of August at Crescent Beach, Florida, 19 year old surfer Shane Lancaster received minor injuries from a 6' long shark.
- Daniel true, 19, was bitten on the foot while surfing in Ponce de Leon Inlet, Volusia County, Florida in early September. The shark responsible was though to be a 6' Black tip.
- On the 24th of September, at Anna Maria Island, Manatee county, 21 year old Charles Wickersham sustained a serious injury while spear fishing. A bull shark bit his leg deep enough to expose the bone.
- On the 23rd of December at New Smyrna Beach, Florida, 27 year old Will Futato suffered from laceraitons to his ankle while surfing.
- On the 31st of December, an un-named male had his hand bitten by a shark at Jupiter, Palm Beach County, Florida.
North Carolina shark attacks
- North Topsail Beach, North Carolina, late June. A 10 year girl, Cassidy Cartwright, was playing with her bodyboard in 3' of water when an unknown species of shark bit her lower right leg, dragging her down in the water.
- In the middle of July, 6 year old Lucy Mangum suffered severe laceration on the lower right leg while playing Boogie boarding in shallow water with her parents at Okracoke Beach, Okracoke Island, North Carolina.
- Early August, Donnie White, 54, was bitten on the lower leg by a bull shark as he was climbing back into a fishing boat after a brief swim to cool off. The attack happened about 10 miles off Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina.
- In the middle of August, Trang Aronian, 28, was attacked in shallow waters in Kure Beach, North Carolina, by what is being reported to be a Sand Tiger shark. It ripped most of the skin off her foot and toes.
- Holden Beach, North Carolina, saw a 10 year old boy bitten on the foot in shallow water towards the end of August.
South Carolina shark attack
A 7 year old boy, Rudy Varney, was bitten on the foot by what is believed to be a black-tip reef shark, while paddling in the Atlantic ocean at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in the middle of August.
Californian Shark Attacks
On the 29th of October, 2011, 27 year old surfer Eric Tarantino was attacked by a shark at Marina State Beach in Monterey County.
He was hospitalized with bites to his neck and forearm, but his injuries were believed to be non-life threatening.
His surfboard wasn't quite so lucky - see picture below.
The type of shark is unknown.
On December 6th, 2011, a female surfer was attacked by what is believed to be a shark while surfing at Seaside Cove. She was stretchered off the beach and taken to a waiting ambulance who delivered her to Seaside Providence Hospital. No details of her injuries have been released.
- Shark Attacks at Reunion Island
This is a complete record of all recorded shark attacks that have taken place off or around French Reunion Island in the warm Indian Ocean.
Reunion Island shark attacks
- In February, 32 year Eric Dargent had his leg bitten off below the knee by a shark at Three Rocks, Saint-Gilles, Reunion.
- In the middle of July at Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, a 15 year old boy was attacked by what is believed to be a tiger shark. He received only minor injuries, but his surfboard was damaged beyond repair.
- FATAL - 31 year old Eddie Auber died after suffering fatal wounds inflicted by several sharks when he was attacked while surfing 200 metres from the shore at Ti Boucan, on the French island of Reunion in the middle of June.
- FATAL - On the 19th of September, Mathieu Schiller, aged 38 was fatally injured while bodyboarding at St Giles, Reunion.
South American shark attacks
- At the end of January, a young Canadian woman, Nicole Moore, 38, was attacked and bitten by a shark while swimming off Cancun in Mexico. She suffered horrific injuries to her left arm and leg. Her left arm has since been amputated.
- Around this time too, there were reports of a 25 year old fisherman, C. Pedro Luis Beltrán Camargo, having to be rescued by the Mexican navy and rushed to hospital with severe blood loss after being attacked by a shark near the Revillagigedo Archipelago, Colima, Mexico.
- In February, at Gaviotas Beach in Cancun, Mexico, a Russian woman suffered a shark bite to her foot while swimming 100 metres offshore.
- FATAL - 15 year old Kevin Moraga died from a massive blood loss after being bitten in the leg by an unknown shark while surfing at the Playa Grande, Guanacaste, Costa Rica in the middle of June.
- At the end of June, Mallison Lima, 21, was badly lacerated on the right thigh while surfing in a restricted area in Praia do Pina, Pernambuco, Brazil. The shark responsible was thought to be either a bull or a tiger shark.
- In early July, Tulio Andrés Amaya Vidal, 17, was attacked while kayaking off Liberty township, San Onofre, Gulf of Morrosquillo, Colombia. He suffered severe bite injuries to both of his arms. The type of shark involved was not reported.
- FATAL - In early August, the body of 14 year old Gabriel Alves dos Santos was found in Brazil, his body scavenged by sharks. He had been swimming when he disappeared the day before.
- On the 12th of November, 35 year old Jerônimo Pereira da Paz had his legs bitten by an unknown shark while surfing at Punta Del Chifre Beach, Olinda, Pernambuco, Brazil.
New Caledonia, South Pacific
FATAL - In the middle of May, a 15 year old kiteboarder, known only as Nathan, was mauled by a shark after he fell off his board while kiteboarding with his father and other friends. He died on arrival at hospital at Koumac.
Fiji shark attacks
- At the end of March, at Udu, Vanua Levu in Fiji, diver Mereti Jeke, 30, lost his left forearm in a shark attack.
- In April, Atuate Caucau, 27, received minor wounds after being attacked by a shark
2011 Worldwide shark attack summary
Other shark attacks
Other reported shark attacks include surfers who were completely unharmed, but their surfboards suffered teeth bite marks, and also fishermen who got bitten after landing a shark on deck.
To me, the former weren't attacked and so shouldn't be included, and the latter, frankly, deserve all they get!
Sharks who have attacked humans while in the water going about their business are quite a different kettle of fish (excuse the pun!) to those who attack in self-defence.
Thanks go to the following websites for their invaluable information
- FLMNH Ichthyology Department: Sharks
Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department Sharks homepage. This page contains educational sections about the biology ecology and conservation of fishes and sharks. A rich photo gallery features the work of world renown underwater pho
- Shark Year Magazine | Shark News and Information all year long at Shark Year . com
Shark Year Magazine: Shark News and Information all year long at Shark Year . com
- Shark Attack File SAS World Wide international global Shark Attack File
SAS Shark Attack File covering International Global Worldwide Shark Attack File the Peoples Shark Attack File by Shark Attack Survivors
- Shark Attack Monitor
nick stick on June 15, 2015:
I say kill off sharks until there is almost none left. I hate them; they're nothing but evil predators… kind of like the animal rights nuts that want to keep them from becoming extinct. Humans have more right to enjoy the oceans than this evil fish does.
Pepe Lasrsi on January 01, 2014:
If we weren't so selfish and just stayed on the land we evolved onto, we wouldn't have a problem getting bitten, since we long ago destroyed all the threats on land.
IzzyM (author) from UK on May 10, 2013:
Ah yes you live in an area where shark attacks are likely to happen. Must mean the water is nice and warm, all the same :) Always look on the bright side!
John from Irvine, California on May 10, 2013:
Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the water... Your hub attacked me! There is something polarizing and terrifying about sharks. Luckily, I've been able to get over my fear of the ocean (Its a good thing considering I live in Orange County, California).
Good Hub. Voted up!
IzzyM (author) from UK on March 06, 2013:
I'm glad to hear they have put nets up. Anything that protects humans has got to be good, though it is a shame when other marine creatures get caught up in them.
I think chumming teaches sharks to associate humans with food, not a good combination which ever way you look at it.
liswilliams from South Africa on March 06, 2013:
this is a really well researched hub. Update since Michael Cohen was attacked, they put nets up - I live 30 mins away. There have also been a couple more attacks in the area since then - the no. 1 cause? not global warming -chumming!! Imagine teasing a shark like that - no wonder they attack!
IzzyM (author) from UK on November 18, 2012:
Absolutely, the Asians are fishing our sharks to extinction. But the sharks seem to be eating people who are on their side! You hardly ever hear of an Asian being attacked by a shark. Maybe they stay out of the water!
Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on November 18, 2012:
Interesting facts and cataloguing of shark attacks IzzyM, and some really gruesome pictures of real attacks. Thanks. Perhaps the most pertinent statistic though is the one which contrasts the number of sharks killed by humans, with the number of humans killed by sharks. Voted up. alun.
IzzyM (author) from UK on July 24, 2012:
Yet we still get folks going swimming or surfing at dusk and dawn, because 'the beaches are quieter'. Watched an interesting program on the telly tonight about the sharks in Sidney harbour. Loads of tagged bull sharks moving around all over the place where people are swimming, yet no attacks. Why does an attack occur at all? It seems to be a bit of a mystery. Thanks for commenting, Ray :)
rayholmes on July 24, 2012:
99% of all species that have inhabited "our" planet our no longer with us. Maybe I'll be next or you or the sharks...what's your pick mate? I was raised in Tennessee USA and the saying there was "Don't poke the
bear." I've lived in Oz now for 20 years...and what they told me when
I moved here was..."don't swim at dawn or at dusk." I live on the beach
and they are moving around more than I've ever seen 'em...but more at dawn and dusk.
IzzyM (author) from UK on October 29, 2011:
Totally agree with you there. And sharks have been around for millions of years, since before the dinosaurs, and in less than 50 years man looks set to wipe them out. We should all hang our heads in shame.
theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on October 29, 2011:
I couldn't have said it better myself (about the seas being over-fished). All types of animals both aquatic and land are losing their habitat and food sources because of the human population. Sad...we are merely guests on their planet and this is how they're treated. :(
IzzyM (author) from UK on October 29, 2011:
Little Lucy Mangum aged only 6 was paddling in shallow water - so you can imagine how shallow - when a shark bit her (North Carolina). Bull sharks are absolute buggers for this! (excuse the French). This year has seen a rise in shark attacks worldwide which is odd when you consider the momentum of anti-finning movement. Dare say someone will blame it on global warming (sharks moving into cooler waters) but it could be desperation because the seas are, quite frankly, over-fished and the poor sharks are starving.
theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on October 29, 2011:
Wow..I can't believe that Kori Robertson was only waist deep when she was attacked! That's insane. I didn't realize they lurk in such shallow water. Fascinating creatures. Such great information here!
IzzyM (author) from UK on September 19, 2011:
Thanks Dorsi - but you should get back in the ocean, even while swimming in shark-infested waters like off the coast of Florida or North Carolina, you only have 1:1M chance of being attacked which is pretty good :)
Dorsi Diaz from The San Francisco Bay Area on September 18, 2011:
Great series of hubs on skarks Izzy. They have always fascinated me since I was child. I never swim in the ocean though for fear of them. Thumbs up, tweeted and +'ed! (btw I love your new profile pic - very cool!)
IzzyM (author) from UK on September 16, 2011:
Yes, as Asia has become richer, more and more people want to impress their friends by showing off their wealth by serving up, or buying, shark's fin soup, a single bowl of which costs around $150. So the demand for sharks fins have shot up. Sahrks are caught and de-finned at at sea, then thrown back into the water to drown. Its horrific and a million times worse than what they do to us. A shark bite that severs an artery means a quick and painless death for us. We are dead before the numbing shock wears off and don't feel a thing other than fear of course.
Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on September 15, 2011:
I didn't realize that people kill so many sharks. Maybe they are defending themselves. This is a very informative and well-written article with lots of great pictures. Thanks.
IzzyM (author) from UK on September 15, 2011:
@sophia, the beautiful photo you refer to must be the Australian one where the boy's friends went in the water? the colors are amazing! what an incredible place! Just a shame the occasion was so sad.
@vocalcoach, I am so incredibly sad about what you just posted. Big hugs girl! To lose a child, no matter the circumstances, is just the worst thing ever. Thanks for voting up :)
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on September 15, 2011:
While living in Hawaii, I often worried about my son every time he went surfing, because of Sharks. But it wasn't a shark that killed him...it was cancer.
Magnificent photos and well written hub. voting up! Thanks.
Sophia Angelique on September 15, 2011: