Shark attacks were reduced worldwide by the coronavirus

Cancun shark update: At least one piece of reassuring news emerges from the darkness of these times: since the pandemic began, shark attacks have been greatly reduced.

Worrying figures on shark attacks. Archive file
Worrying figures on shark attacks. Archive file

The "dramatic drop" in unprovoked attacks is probably due to beach closures and prolonged quarantines, experts at Florida International University's Shark Attack Archive said on Friday. 

So far this year, 18 shark attacks have occurred worldwide, compared to 24 at the same time last year and 28 the year before.

However, three people died from shark attacks this year, two in Australia and one in California. However, three people died from shark attacks this year, two in Australia and one in California. Seven of this year's shark bites occurred in the United States, two of them in Florida waters. Hawaii recorded two others, while California, Delaware, and North Carolina each had one.

"The fact that there are only two bites in Florida at this time of year is a sign that some other factor is at play. Covid-19 is the obvious answer, although it could be something more," ISAF director Tyler Bowling said in the statement.

Many Florida beaches, parks, ports, and boat ramps were closed between March and May. In some places, there are still restrictions, although most of the Southeastern state began reopening its economy in late May.

Normally, July is the "high season" for shark attacks, because that's when there are more vacationers on the beaches. September usually records another peak because it is the time when the blacktip shark migrates from the Carolinas to South Florida.

Places most prone to shark attacks

The United States ranks first in terms of the number of such attacks, according to the document 1215 were recorded in 55 years, although only 24 ended up being fatal. Australia ranks second with a big difference between its numbers: just 315.

Latin America is also among the most dangerous places. Brazil, Mexico (there have been reports of recent shark sightings in Cancun in 2020), and Ecuador complete the top 5 with 88, 33, and 11 events respectively. However, the number of fatal cases remains low and those responsible for the investigation warn that there is one in several million chances of being bitten by one of these aquatic animals.