Shark attacks: Are bites common in Florida? Database tracks how many known on Treasure Coast since 1998

Just how common are shark attacks? While sometimes gruesome, they're not all that common.

Sharks do not consider humans as part of their diet. What typically happens is that the shark may be curious seeing a human splashing around in the water and the shark goes to investigate resulting in an accidental attack.

While the United States leads the global charts for shark attacks, the number is not in the triple digits. In 2022, 57 shark attacks were recorded globally with five of them being fatal; one fatality was in the United States.

Shark Database: Treasure Coast known shark attacks 1998 to present

Shark attacks: Florida researchers release 2022 statistics on shark bites and deaths

What is the shark bite capital of the world?

Florida is regarded as the shark bite capital of the world, with New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County with the most shark bites to date going back to 1882 according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.


New Smyrna Beach is on east coast of the state north of the Treasure Coast. The beach town is 102.5 miles from Indian River County, 139 miles from St. Lucie County and 160 miles from Martin County.

How likely is a shark attack?

While the threat of being the victim of a shark bite is scary, as seen in the movie Jaws, there is no need to fret. With five fatal shark bites in 2022, you have a 1 in 4.3 million chance of dying from a shark bite.

The Florida Museum of Natural History released a list of incidents that propose a higher fatality rate than shark bites. Here are a few:

  • Drowning: 3,306 annual deaths; 1 in 1,134 chance of fatality

  • Sun/heat exposure: 273 annual deaths, 1 in 13,729 chance of fatality

  • Lightning strikes: 47 annual deaths; 1 in 79,746 chance of fatality.

Gianna Montesano is TCPalm’s underserved communities reporter. You can contact her at, 772-409-1429 or follow her on Twitter @gmontesano13. If you are a subscriber, thank you. If not, become a subscriber to get the latest local news on the Treasure Coast.

This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Shark bites in Florida: How many attacks happened in Treasure Coast?