It’s not a fair fight.
In the “battle” between people and sharks, it’s not even close. On average, humans kill about 100 million sharks around the world each year, with most targeted by commercial fishermen for their fins and flesh.
And despite their fearsome reputation and often breathless media attention, sharks kill only about six people a year worldwide, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File.
In the U.S., on average, one person dies each year from a shark attack.
In 2017, there were 155 incidents of alleged shark-human interaction worldwide, according to the International Shark Attack File. Closer investigation found 88 of those incidents were “unprovoked” attacks that occur without provocation from humans.
Sharks killed five people worldwide last year.
Through the first six months of 2018, there have been 25 shark bites around the world, only one of which was fatal (off the coast of Recife, Brazil, in early June). Of those 25 attacks, seven have occurred in the U.S.
Maybe we should blame shark mania on “Jaws“. The national fear of shark attacks got its start some 43 years ago with the release of the movie blockbuster that unleashed the primal fear of being eaten alive while swimming.
Since then, shark attacks continue to get plenty of media coverage, despite their rarity. How rare? The odds of being killed by a shark in the U.S. are 3,748,067 to 1.
Amazingly, bees, wasps, dogs and snakes are responsible for far more deaths each year in the U.S. than sharks, the Shark Attack File said.
According to a recent study, most U.S. deaths are not actually due to wild animals like mountain lions, wolves, bears, or sharks, but are a result of deadly encounters with farm animals, insect stings or dog attacks
At the beach, you’re actually in more danger just walking along the shore than in the water, according to the Shark Attack File. From 1990 to 2006 there were 16 U.S. deaths due to falling in a hole at the beach compared to 11 shark attack deaths.
If you’re clamoring for more about sharks, check out Nat Geo Wild’s 2-week-long SharkFest, which premieres Sunday, July 15, at 8 p.m. ET. The network’s sixth annual summertime special has “the latest insights from the top shark researchers, a comprehensive look at the many shark species in all their glory and two weeks of our top shark shows,” the channel said in a statement.