The Top 10 Shark Infested Beaches in the World

The American public has been fascinated with sharks ever since the blockbuster hit Jaws. We gather around the television set every time we hear of another shark attack along one of the world’s magnificent beaches. According to the International Shark Attack File there are 400 different types of sharks, but only 30 have been known to attack humans. Shark infested waters are located all across the globe, and today we take a look at the Top 10 worst shark-infested beaches in the World beginning with number ten. Take this information with a grain of salt, as the chances of you being “attacked” are still relatively slim.

10. Humboldt County, California

The California sun and white sand beaches of its coast line attract tourists from all over the globe. The beaches here are infested with many different types of shark species. The largest concentration of unprovoked shark attacks is located in Northern California, mainly in the Humboldt County area. In the past 81 years, 16 shark attacks have been reported. This area has a relatively high amount of sharks, but none of the attacks here have been fatal.

9. Hawaii

Hawaii is a tourist hotspot and one of the most gorgeous places on earth. Naturally people flock here in droves during the tropical summer season. The Hawaiian Islands have had a history of shark attacks along its beaches. 69 attacks have been reported here in the past 17 years, four of these being fatal. Still, an average of four attacks per year puts your chances of being attacked by a shark slim to none. To help put this in better perspective; over 7 million people visited the Hawaii Island in 2005, with a total of four shark attacks. Since statistics have been kept, 119 unprovoked shark attacks have happened here.

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8. Gansbaai, South Africa

Gansbaai is a small village located in Western Cape, Africa. Gansbaai also has a reputation as the “Great White Shark Capital of the World. This endangered species travels here for feeding, and this area has been known for attacks. The Gansbaai and Western Cape region boasts some of the best whale watching and shark diving in the World. The best time of year to see a Great White Shark in Gansbaai is from April thru September when you have a 99% chance of encountering a Great White. Gansbaai is also home to “shark alley” a channel between two islands off its coast.

7. Brazil

There are more shark attacks in both Florida and Australia, but the waters off the Brazilian coast are still full of many types of sharks. Bull sharks are known to attack in the waters along this stretch of beaches. There are also reports of tiger sharks attacking along several areas of the coastline. The Brazilian government has begun implementing a no surfing law in known hot spots for sharks and shark attacks. Since this law has been enacted there have been no new shark attacks, except for illegal surfing in the hot spot areas.

6. Reunion Island

Located in the Indian Ocean and East of Madagascar, Reunion Island is inside the European Union. The closest island to Reunion is Mauritius, which can be found 130 miles away. 14 shark attacks in the past 17 years make the island beaches one of the worst shark-infested locations on earth.

5. Brevard County, Florida

The ISAF has reported 90 shark attacks here since 1990. This marks the highest number of attacks behind just Volusia County, the “Shark Capital of the World”. A popular tourist attraction and home to Cape Canaveral this area has some of Florida’s most amazing beaches. Below the emerald green waters lie many different types of Sharks. High numbers of sand, bull, and hammerhead sharks are found in the area.

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4. Queensland, Australia

Home to excellent snorkeling and world famous diving, Queensland beaches are some of the busiest in the World. According to the Australian Shark Attack File or ASAF, Queensland has also been the location of 22 shark attacks in the past 50 years. 166 different species of sharks roam the Australian waters and many can be found along the Queensland and surrounding beaches. Over the past 219 years there have been 693 shark attacks in all of Australia. This makes Australia home to some of the worst shark-infested waters anywhere.

3. West Palm Beach, Florida

South Florida witnessed a massive boom of population in the past 20 years. With the increase in population comes an increase in shark attacks. The entire eastern coast of Florida has a reputation for shark attacks, but this can partly be attributed to the shear numbers of people in the water at any given time. Regardless, the West Palm Beach area boasts the third highest number of shark attacks in Florida. Third place in Florida is not a good place to be, since 1990 there have been a reported 57 attacks along this coast. Luckily, these shark attacks have produced zero fatalities in the past 17 years of statistics.

2. Papua New Guinea, Oceania

Papua New Guinea is inside the country of Oceania and located in the eastern half of New Guinea. Papua New Guinea is home to over 850 indigenous languages and not quite 6 million people. A total of 49 shark attacks have happened along the beaches here since 1925. 25 attacks have resulted in fatalities with the last occurring in 2000. Sharks are abundant and the high amount of people populating the beaches here means it’s a recipe for a high number of shark attacks.

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1.New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Florida is known as a tourist hot spot and spring break destination for flocks of sun starved college students. The Daytona Beach area is known as one of the best destinations for spring breakers in Florida, and New Smyrna Beach is located just a few short miles away. Since 1990, there have been 390 reported shark attacks along Florida beaches according to statistics from ISAF. The New Smyrna Beach area has contributed around half of that number. This is a good reason why the beaches along Volusia County in Northeast Florida are nicknamed the “Shark Bite Capital of the World. Beach waters packed full of people along with a high concentration of sharks helps maintain this reputation for the county. Sharks along these beaches include tigers and black tips, with many other species patrolling the area. I have personally witnessed sharks just a few feet from shore visiting this beautiful area.

Sources:, Listphile Univ. of Florida, About, Taronga Zoo, West Planes Zoo