Shark attack in South Africa today
An analysis of South African shark attack records over the last four decades has shown some interesting patterns.
Most importantly, the results confirm that attacks are rare events, with an average of only six incidents per year. Since 1990 only 26% of attacks have resulted in serious injury and only 15% were fatal. This equates to an average of one serious shark-inflicted injury every year and one shark-inflicted fatality every 1.2 years along some 2000 km of coastline from the Mozambique border to Table Bay (Cape Town).
Initially most attacks took place on swimmers in warm, shallow waters on KwaZulu-Natal beaches, but the shark nets, now concurrently with the drumlines, have greatly reduced the number of these incidents in the province to less than 1 per annum.
There have been only two serious attacks at protected beaches in the last 30 years. Both involved surfers who were bitten in very clear water by a great white shark Carcharodon carcharias. The last attack at a protected beach took place in 1999, which bears testimony to the success of the shark nets in reducing shark attack