While the U.S. shark attack record was tied, world-wide, the number of shark attacks remained stable. Across the world, there were seven shark attack related fatalities from 80 attacks, which are in line with average numbers.
Florida had 26 shark attacks in 2012. Hawaii had 10, California had 5 , South Carolina had 5, North Carolina had 2, and Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Puerto Rico each had one shark attack.
As for how to handle these attacks, George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida said,
"The concept of 'let's go out and kill them' is an archaic approach to a shark attack problem, and its opportunities for success are generally slim-to-none. It's mostly a feel-good revenge – like an 'eye for an eye' approach – when in fact you're not likely to catch the shark that was involved in the situation. The shark that was involved in the situation also isn't necessarily likely to do it again."
His advice is to reduce risk by avoiding areas and times where sharks are likely to be. He also said to avoid provocative behaviors in waters that could have sharks in them. Ultimately, a shark attack is rare despite the fact that 2012 tied the shark attack record in the U.S.
If you ever are involved in a shark attack, experts say hitting the shark's nose is one of the best responses because sharks respect size and power. Of course, you will have to remain calm to think about this tactic.