Shark Attacks in Australia Last Year: First Time Since 1929


There have been 7 shark attacks in Australia in 2020, despite the fact that they haven’t had this many since 1934 and there had been none in 2019. Robert Harcourt, an English explorer, acknowledges that climate change could be an important factor concerning the phenomenon.


According to CNN, the last time a total of 7 shark attacks occurred in Australia was back in 1934. As stated by a spokesperson from Taronga Conservation Society Australia, 1934 was the last time they had had seven shark attacks. The highest amount of shark attacks, 9, took place in 1929. “In Australia, (this year is) a bit of a blip,” said Culum Brown, a professor at Macquarie University’s Department of Biological Sciences in Sydney.


For 50 years, the average amount of shark attacks in Australia was calculated to be approximately two per year. In 2020, a shark attack was suspected in the case of a surfer’s disappearance, but the missing surfer was never found. As reported in FOX NEWS, “The chances of survival are obviously pretty slim considering some of the accounts that have been provided to us.” 


While authorities were unsuccessful in uncovering the body of the surfer, they did manage to find his surfboard after the attack. As maintained by CNN, drowns were even sent down in the sky to search for the body. In counting this surfer as the seventh shark attack in Australia last year, there is a very surprising spike that no one has seen nor expected for 86 years. A report from Fox News states, “As we first reported in June, the observed drop in shark bite incidents may have been caused by the widespread quarantines, closed beaches and minimized vacation travel in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”


As of today, 397 shark attacks in Florida is the most that have occurred in the world. Following close behind is Hawaii, with a total number of 113 attacks. As specified by BBC, the number of shark attacks in Australia could be due to climate change, which may also be the reason behind the attacks in Florida and Hawaii.


Authorities now suspect that climate change could be the factor concerning the recent spike of shark attacks in Australia. This suspicion was aroused due to scientific observations that as the ocean started heating up, fish started migrating to other places that they have never gone before. According to CNN, “These dynamic, shifting water temperatures are perhaps also why sharks are beginning to move into human spaces.”


There are warm and cold spots in the ocean surrounding Australia, demonstrating that the sharks following the temperature may be the cause for so many shark attacks in recent years. By following the temperature to warmer areas, the sharks were inevitably led to the coast, where the people are. 


BBC concluded, “Associate Prof Hart said they might bite for various reasons, such as lashing out at a threat, protecting territory, or confusing a human with food and ‘feeling their way’ with their mouth.”