The worldwide occurrence of shark attacks are very low and attack number are minutely small compared to other possible dangers. Around the world approximately forty billion people go swimming each year. The probability of a shark attack is thus about 1: 400,000,000.

Great White Shark Attacks while Swimming - Cape Town Informationen - South Africa

Attacks Sharks

Whoever goes to Africa on holiday should also be aware of coconuts. Related death tolls by these nuts are far higher than with sharks. Another interesting comparison which reveals sharks to be quite harmless, is the fact that about 50 people die each year from dangerous jellyfish.

In the US you are more likely to be struck by lightning than be attacked by a shark. If one brings road accidents into the equation, then you have no need of developing any form of fear for the sea or these predatory fish, as the car ride to the beach is far more dangerous. There are up to 100 shark attacks reported each year, with only about 5-10 of them being fatal.

Worldwide statistics 
From 1990 to 1995 about 283 shark attacks have been recorded. Altogether 40 of them (14.1%) were fatal.

Examples of some regions:

 Areas  Attacks  Deaths  Injuries
 Florida    92   0  92
 Brazil   32    26
 South Africa   28     25
 California  20   1    19
 Hawaii   19  3  16
 New Zealand        5
 Reunion         3
 Hong Kong    6     0
 Australia   11     7
In most cases, shark attacks are caused by humans. The construction of new harbours deprives marine animals of their natural living conditions. Even in regions completely unknown for shark incidents, attacks been heavily on the rise from one year to the next. By taking a close look at the situation, researchers have discovered that through the construction of new harbours, the sharks‘ prey settle in areas close to the coast. It is no surprise that predatory fish have followed to regions that had never previously been struck by attacks on humans.

Accidents White Sharks Attacks

Shark attacks in comparison to incidents with other wild animals worldwide:
- Hippos 100
- Elephant 500
- Crocodiles 1000
- Scorpions 5000
- Snakes 100,000
- Sharks 10

The most dangerous animal in the world is the Anopheles mosquito, spreading Malaria to humans, causing 500 000 fatalities per year!

A tragedy occurred a few years back in South Africa when marine biologists hired a boat to study the Great White sharks out at sea. They poured excessive amounts of blood into the water in close proximity to a very popular surf spot in order to lure the sharks to their boat. Unfortunately, a young surfer had to pay for this ignorance with his life.

If you have ever been cage diving before in and around Cape Town, you will know that a large fish head is already more than enough to attract a Great White. The sharks actually react more sensitively to vibrations in the water than blood.

Sharks can pick up scents at a dilution of 1:10 000 000. This means that they can sense one drop of blood in 10 million drops of water.

Media is the Great White shark’s greatest enemy. With each shark attack, the ocean’s largest predator becomes instantly portrayed as a merciless monster. Movies such as ‘Jaws’ have entirely destroyed this predatory fish’s reputation.

He is by no means a beast, but rather an exquisite being of evolution. The Great White has been living in our oceans for more than 400 million years and is solely ruled by instinct.

Should you be keen to meet the King of all Oceans up close, we would love to hear from you.

Your Cape Town Shark Diving Team


Contact for Attacks