Well, at least there have been fewer shark attacks in Florida

by

comment
PHOTO VIA ADOBE STOCK
  • Photo via Adobe Stock

While Florida is breaking new COVID-19 records almost every day, it’s important to note the good things, like how we’re not getting chewed on by sharks as much.

Following months of closed beaches and limited public activity, Florida’s shark bite numbers have dwindled dramatically, according to the International Shark Attack File, housed at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.

Typically topping the annual global shark bite tally, Florida has actually seen only two unprovoked bites between Jan. 1 and June 18, one each in Brevard and Duval counties, according to the ISAF.

Florida is not the only area experiencing drops in shark bites. Globally, only 18 bites have been recorded, seven of which were in U.S. waters. This represents an international decrease down from a global 24 in the same period in 2019 and 28 in 2018.

In a 20-year comparison of shark bites, 2020’s recordings have reached a 15-year low, tying with 2005 for unprovoked bites from January through May.

According to the ISAF, which is a comprehensive database of all known shark attacks dating back to 1958, the decrease is likely attributed to coronavirus shutdowns and limited gatherings on beaches that occurred throughout the past months. However, researchers note there may be other causes at play.

ISAF researchers have found an unexplained decrease in shark bites in past years, with 2019’s 64 bites marking a 22 percent drop from the past five-year average of 82 annually.


_
Please follow CDC guidelines and Orange County advisories to stay safe, and please support this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Central Florida. Please consider making a one-time or monthly donation. Every little bit helps.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.