Shark bite rates along the US Gulf coast

Published on 22. March 2018

Shark bite rates along the US Gulf coast: a first investigation

Raid W. Amin, Erich K. Ritter, Bethany A. Bonell


The Gulf of Mexico is recognized as being home to all the shark species commonly involved in incidents with humans. SatScanTM, a spatial and spacetime statistical tool, was used to determine high-risk and low-risk clusters of biterates caused by these species along the US Gulf of Mexico coast. The in-existence of any significant high-risk clusters along the coast suggests low shark densities in these waters. Overfishing is probably the most limiting factor but other anthropogenic influences, like altering or destroying shore areas which are commonly used for nursery grounds by these species, may also contribute to the overall low densities. However, each incident is also an independent event of a shark’s decision-making to either proceed or abort an encounter before making human contact. Whenever discussing factors influencing shark bite rates, decision making by an individual shark should be part of it.

Environmental Sciences, Vol. 6, 2018, no. 1, 1-12 , DOI 10.12988/es.2018.821



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