COCOA BEACH, Florida -- 2015 broke the all-time record for the most number of shark attacks in a year, according to the University of Florida International Shark Attack File (ISAF) 2015 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary released today. The 2015 yearly total of 98 unprovoked shark attacks surpassed the previous high of 88 recorded in the year 2000.
The United States had the most amount of shark attacks in the world in 2015 with a total of 59 unprovoked attacks, surpassing the previous U.S. record of 53 shark attacks in 2012 and 2000. The only U.S. fatal shark attack in 2015 occurred in Hawaii.
Once again, Florida had most (51%) of the unprovoked attacks in the United States and 30.6% of the world's total. The total of 30 Florida bites in 2015 was higher than the 2014 total of 23- but did not approach the record high of 37 that occurred in 2000.
Brevard County, which includes Cocoa Beach, had the most amount of shark attacks in the Sunshine State with 8, followed closely by neighboring Volusia County (Daytona Beach area) with 7.
Researchers say that the higher number of encounters in these two adjacent central-east coast counties is attributable to high aquatic recreational utilization of the area’s long and attractive beaches and waters by both Florida residents and tourists, including large numbers of surfers, and to the rich nature of its marine fauna.Image: Great White Shark. Credit: Greg Skomal / Mass. Division of Marine Fisheries