Shark Research Committee Reports Pacific Coast Shark Attacks For 2012
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 16 January, 2013 : - - There were 8 authenticated unprovoked shark attacks reported from the Pacific Coast of North America during 2012, which includes 1 fatal attack. There were 7 attacks, including the fatal case, recorded from California and 1 from Oregon. The attacks were distributed in the following months; January (1), May (2), July (2) and October (3).
There were 2 shark attacks reported south of the southern Santa Barbara County line, with the remaining 5 attacks from Santa Barbara County north. The single Oregon shark attack occurred near Lincoln City. Activities of the victims were; 4 Surfing (1 fatal), 2 Kayaking, 1 Windsurfing and 1 Paddle boarding. The Great White Shark, Carcharodon carcharias, was positively identified or highly suspect in all 8 of the attacks.
The publication “Shark Attacks of the Twentieth Century” authenticated 108 unprovoked shark attacks from the Pacific Coast between 1900 and 1999. The Great White Shark was implicated in 94 (87%) of the 108 confirmed attacks with an annual average of slightly more than one shark attack per year. The 8 cases reported for 2012 brings the total number of unprovoked shark attacks occurring along the Pacific Coast during the 21st Century to 72.
This is ‘six times’ the Twentieth Century annual average of slightly more than 1 shark attack per year. The Great White Shark was positively identified or highly suspect in 63 (88%) of the 72 attacks recorded during the 21st Century. From 2000 to the present, 35 (49%) of the 72 confirmed shark attacks occurred during the three month period of August (10), September (9), and October (16).
There have been 180 authenticated unprovoked shark attacks reported from the Pacific Coast of North America from 1900 to 2012. The Great White Shark was positively identified or highly suspect in 157 (87%) of the 180 cases. There were 8 fatal shark attacks confirmed from 1900 to 1999 and 5 fatal attacks reported from 2000 to 2012. The 13 fatal attacks represent 7% of the 180 total cases.
Victim activity for the 72 shark attacks reported from the Pacific Coast since 2000 are distributed in the following ocean user groups; surfers 48 (67%) of the documented attacks, with 5 swimmers (7%), 8 kayakers (11%), 4 divers (6%), 4 paddle boarders (6%), 1 windsurfer (1%), 1 fishing (1%), and 1 boogie boarder (1%).
The number of shark-bitten stranded marine mammals reported in 2012 was greater than the prior year, especially in Santa Barbara County. The location and time of year, would suggest an increase in the number of Great White Sharks utilizing those specific areas. However, this might not be the result of an increase in their population but rather locations being targeted by sharks migrating along the Pacific Coast. The Shark Research Committee will continue to closely monitor these activities.
Author: Ralph S. Collier
Tags: Shark Attack, Humboldt, Northern California, Great White