Papua New Guinea has seen it’s fair share of shark attacks with a fatality rate of 50%. With 48 total attacks and 24 fatalities since 1848, the Pacific Ocean island is a scary place to swim. The island attracts many tourists for its diverse and beautiful marine life. In 2011 a French diplomat was bitten on the leg while kite-surfing and was flown immediately to Australia for medical assistance. Despite the number of attacks, Papua New Guinea continues to be large fishing port, and sharks tend to be more at risk than humans.
Maui is home to some aggressive tiger sharks who are likely the culprits of the eight attacks that occurred in 2013. In total, Maui has counted 49 attacks, with 4 fatalities. Two fatalities in 2013 included a German snorkeler and a Washington state kayak fisherman, both in the waters off Makena State Park. Locals warn of peak seasons of shark activity, but with Maui continuing to be a tourist destination, many seem to ignore the suggestion.
As fans visited Recife for the World Cup this year, they were warned to be aware of the shark infested waters. With a mixture of high-concentration and unaware tourists, Boa Viagem beach is a dangerous place. Since 1931 there have been 55 total unprovoked attacks with 16 fatalities. In preparation for the World Cup and the increase in tourists, the beach watch towers in the Pernambuco region nearly doubled while lifeguards campaigned to make visitors aware of the dangers.
Gracetown beaches are very popular among surfers, and have seen 3 fatal shark attacks since 2004. The latest fatality was in November 2013 when a great white attacked an avid surfer. Beaches off of Perth in Western Australia are continuously proven to be dangerous waters, and as a result the government began a cull of great white, tiger and bull sharks of more than nine-feet-long. Western Australia's coast has seen a total of 69 attacks and 15 fatalities.
Due to a number of factors attracting sharks closer to shore, December 1957 marked ‘Black December’ along the coast of KwaZulu-Natal with five fatalities in a 107-day stretch. As a result the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board was formed and has mandated to maintain shark nets and drum lines. Despite the efforts, the beaches along the coast continue to attract deadly sharks, with 27 fatal attacks and 90 total attacks since 1905.
Port St Johns’ Second Beach has become known as one of the most deadly stretches of water. In March, a shark attack claimed the life of 72-year-old man, marking the eighth death in five years. Located in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, the coastline is reported to have 97 total attacks and 13 fatalities since 1905. Bull sharks, known in the area as ‘the pit bulls of the sea’ are common predators on the South African coastline.
Brevard Coast is home to some major tourist beaches including Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach and Jetty Park. Because of it’s close distance to Orlando, the beaches are always crowded. Just yesterday, several children in Brevard were attacked, one resulting in a severed Achilles tendon. There have been a reported 114 total attacks in Brevard with 1 death in 1934.
Queensland beaches have proven to be so dangerous, that the Queensland Government initiated a Shark Safety Program that “relies on nets, drum lines or a combination of both to remove high risk sharks from a particular location.” They claim that in the 44 years history of the program there has only been one fatal attack. But, since 1700 there have been 163 reported total attacks with 45 fatal attacks.
The beach fronts of New South Wales continue to be the most dangerous waters in the world. With 198 total attacks since 1700, it is also home to the high number of 58 shark attack fatalities. The last fatality was quite recently, in April of 2014. A 63-year-old woman was training for a swim event when the shark attacked. The lifeguards continue to warn beach goers of the dangers of the big sharks after local fisherman were found to be using illegal baits to lure sharks.
New Smyrna Beach may look like a cute and harmless beach, but located in Volusia County, it holds the highest number of shark attacks in the world. Although there have not been any fatalities, there have been 257 total unprovoked attacks since 1882. Locals refer to the beach as the shark capital of the world. And attacks continue to occur, this past memorial day weekend there were almost a dozen sharks spotted in waist-deep water at the beach. Watch the video here.