Jacksonville Shark Attack File
2011 Jacksonville Area Shark Attacks
2010 Jacksonville Area Shark Attacks
Recent Area Shark Attacks
Shark attacks on humans are very rare; less than 100 attacks occur each year worldwide.
Over the last decade, an average of ~24 shark attacks occurred each year in Florida.
Of the total attacks recorded in Florida history, very few have occurred in the Jacksonville area.
Nassau County accounts for only 0.4% of Florida attacks, while Duval and St. Johns counties account for 3.2% and 4.5% respectively.
Only two shark attacks recorded in the Jacksonville area resulted in human fatalities. Both of these attacks occurred in Duval County with the most recent occurring in 1976.
Historical Shark Data
623 Shark attacks in Florida with 11 recorded fatalities
3 Shark attacks in Nassau County
20 Shark attacks in Duval County with 2 recorded fatalities
28 Shark attacks in St. Johns County
In 2010, the total number of attacks in Florida was well below this average.
2010 Shark Attack Summary
79 Shark attacks in the World in 2010
13 Shark attacks in Florida in 2010
0 Shark attacks in Nassau County in 2010
2 Shark attacks in Duval County in 2010
3 Shark attacks in St. Johns County in 2010
Data provided by the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Reducing Your Risk of Shark Attacks in the Jacksonville Area
- The majority of shark attacks are believed to be cases of mistaken identity by the shark or simply an investigative bite.
- Humans are not the normal prey for sharks.
- People swimming at the beach commonly swim in areas with sharks present and are not bitten,
- While the chances of being attacked are very low, below are a few things you can do to further reduce your odds of having a negative encounter with a shark.
Advice: If you see a shark in the water, leave the area.
Rationale: In reality most people swimming at the beach will never see sharks even though they may be present. If you do see a shark and are concerned about your safety, it is advisable to leave the water. Although it is unlikely that the shark would attack you, it is smart to play it safe.
Advice: Avoid entering the water from dusk till dawn.
Rationale: Many species of sharks are believed to be more active at night. Avoiding swimming at night may reduce your chances of encountering a feeding shark. Also, swimming at night may increase the chances of mistaken identity as the shark may not be able to see you well enough to know that you are not something that it normally eats.
Advice: Avoid wearing shiny jewelry or watches.
Rationale: Many sharks feed on fish. By wearing shiny objects on your person, you may mimic the reflection of light that fish scales sometimes produce, resulting in mistaken identity.
Advice: Avoid swimming in areas where fishing is occurring.
Rationale: Fishing activity can increase shark interest in the area due to the presence of bait in the water (sharks may smell the bait). Struggling fish caught on the line may also attract shark interest in the area. If you are fishing in the surf, avoid storing bait or catch on your person while in the water.
Advice: Avoid swimming in areas with murky or turbid water.
Rationale: Cloudy water makes it hard for you to see a shark and makes it hard for a shark to see you. This can lead to mistaken identity or investigative bites by a shark.
Advice: Avoid entering the water with an open wound.
Rationale: In addition to any medical reasons to avoid the water with an open wound, a bleeding wound may get the attention of any sharks swimming nearby as sharks have a very good sense of smell.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sharks or Shark Attacks in the Jacksonville Area and Other Locations
Q: If I see dolphins or porpoises nearby does this mean that there are no sharks in the area?
A: No, dolphins and porpoises often eat the same prey as sharks so if dolphins are in the area to feed, then sharks may also be present. Some species of sharks have also been known to prey on dolphins.
Q: I saw video of hundreds of sharks off the beach recently. Is this normal or are sharks attacking our beaches?
A: The presence of large numbers of sharks off of the Florida coast is normal, especially in southeast Florida waters during the Spring. Aggregations of sharks off Florida’s coast can be common during migratory periods and even non-migratory periods. The coastline is a natural habitat for many shark species so their presence is to be expected.