There were more shark attacks around the world in 2023 than the year before, including one in New Jersey, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History's annual shark report and reported by

The Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File investigated 120 alleged shark-human interactions worldwide in 2023. ISAF confirmed 69 unprovoked shark bites on humans and 22 provoked bites.

Unprovoked bites are defined as incidents in which a bite on a live human occurs in the shark’s natural habitat with no human provocation of the shark. These represent the most natural examples of shark behavior and are our most widely used data category in research.


Provoked bites occur when a human initiates interaction with a shark in some way. These include instances when people are bitten after harassing or trying to touch sharks, bites occurring while unhooking or removing a shark from a fishing net, and so forth.

In these encounters, the shark responds with defensive behavior. Bites on spearfishers, bites on people attempting to feed sharks, bites occurring while unhooking or removing a shark from a fishing net are also classified as provoked bites.


The New Jersey shark bite took place at Stone Harbor in May. Maggie Drozdowski from Chester County, Pennsylvania, was treading water after she lost her surfboard when the shark pulled her under while biting her leg. She broke free and paddled her board back to shore where paramedics attended to her on the beach. She wound up needing six stitches.

The United States had the most shark bites at 36, with 2 being fatal. Australia was second with 15 bites, but 4 fatalities.

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Gallery Credit: Dino Flammia

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